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A. A. PATON, F.K.G.S. 

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Events in Egypt after the Departure of the French Army. Assassination of 
Mamelukes by the Capitan Pasha. Khousreff Pasha, Governor of Egypt. He 
is Driven from Cairo by the Rebellious Troops. Rise of Mohammed Ali. 
Anarchy in Egypt. Return of Elfy Bey from England to Egypt. Failure of 
Elfy Bey's Projects. Mohammed Ali becomes Dictator of Egypt and Pasha of 
Djiddah. His Character 1 


Mohammed Ali Circumvents the Mamelukes. His Power Causes Uneasiness 
to the Porte. He becomes Pasha of Egypt. British Expedition to Egypt under 
General Fraser 19 


General Appropriation of Landed Property by the Pasha. The "Wahaby "War. 
Decline of the Mameluke Power. General Massacre of the Mamelukes. 
Massacres of Mamelukes in the Provinces 26 


History of the Wahabys. "Wahaby Doctrines. Kermelah, the Wahaby 
Leader, Defeats the Shereef of Mecca. The "Wahabys become Masters of Mecca.. 36 


The Shereef of Mecca and Mohammed Ali concert Measures to Attack the 
"Wahabys. Capture of Medina by Toussoun Pasha, son of Mohammed Ali. The 
Wahabys regain ground. Mohammed Ali disembarks in Arabia. Final 
Conquest of the Wahabys 42 


The Upper Nile, its Climate and Trade. Conquest of Senaar, Dongolah, 
and Cordofan resolved on. The Egyptians enter Nubia. The Upper Nile 
occupied. Its material Aspect. Senaar and its Traces of Arab Civilization. 
The countries of the Upper Nile annexed 64 


Revolution of Manners in Egypt. New Organization of the Army and its 
Administrative Departments. Improvement of Alexandria. The Canal of 
Alexandria. Egyptian Manufactures not successful. The Pasha fosters Educa- 
tion. Civil Administration. The Overland Passage to India revived. Palaces 
and Gardens of Mohammed Ali. His extensive and intelligent Intercourse with 
Europeans 71 




Retrospect of Turkish History. The Greek Revolution. Causes of the 
Maintenance of the Turkish Power in Europe. Conduct of Mohammed Ali 
during the Greek "War. Energy of Sultan Mahmoud. Mohammed Ali purposes 
to invade Syria. Ihrahim Pasha besieges Acre. Acre surrenders to Ibrahim. 
The Turks defeated at Horns. The Battle of Konieh gained by the Egyptians 
over the Turks. Arrangement at Eautahia 86 


A Survey of Syria at the period of the Egyptian Conquest. Mount Lebanon. 
The Druses. The Pashalic of Aleppo. Jerusalem. The Seat of Government 
Established at Damascus. Factions of Aleppo. Beginning of discontents among 
the natives of Syria. Sack of Safet. Insurrection of the Mountaineers of 
Nablouse and Mount Cassius. Disarming of the Inhabitants of Mount Lebanon. 
Exasperation of the Population of Syria 102 


Syrian discontents revive the hopes of the Turks. Armaments of the Sultan. 
Viscount Ponsonby dissuades Mahmoud from precipitate measures. The Sultan 
resolves on War 125 


Campaigns of Nezib. Egyptians concentrated in Aleppo. Turkish concen- 
tration at Nezib. Night Bombardment. Battle of Nezib. Death of Mahmoud... 130 


Defection of the Admiral of the Turkish Fleet to Mohammed Ali. The Fleet 
at Rhodes. Arrival of the Fleet at Alexandria. Surrender of the Fleet to 
Mohammed Ali 137 


Action of European Diplomacy on Turkish Affairs. Survey of Britain. Survey 
of France. Survey of Austria, Russia, and Prussia. The Secondary States. 
Jealous Apprehensions of Russia by Europe. Prince Metternich. Viscount 
Palmerston. M. Thiers 144 


Count Nesselrode announces Overtures of Russia to England. First Mission 
of Baron Brunnow. His Negociations with Viscount Palmerston. Exception 
to the Acceptance of the Proposals of Russia. Second Mission of Baron Brunnow 
to London 156 


Mission of Colonel Hodges to Egypt. His Instructions. Colonel Hodges' 
Presentation to Mohammed Ali. The Divan of Mohammed Ali described. 
Decisive language of the British Agent to Mohammed Ali. Mohammed Ali 
Refuses to yield, and Prepares an Armed Resistance 162 


The Convention of July 15, 1840, is signed in London. Its Provisions. The 
Convention notified to Mohammed Ali. His First Refusal. His Final Refusal. 
Mohammed Ali deposed by the Sultan, and Egypt and Syria blockaded 174 




Rigorous Policy of the Egyptian Authorities in Syria. The British Fleet off 
the Syrian Coast. The Austrians and Turks. Operations near Beyrout. Ghazir 
Occupied. Djebail and Batroun. Hostility of the Mountaineers to the Egyptians 179 


Nomination of Sir C. Smith. Vigour of Sir. C. Napier. Sidon taken. The 
Emir Beshir Deposed. Omar's Operations. Battle of the 10th of Octoher. 
Defeat of Ibrahim. Surrender of Beyrout. Bombardment of Acre 187 


Policy of Britain and France. Dejection of Mohammed Ali. Napier off 
Alexandria. Letter to Mohammed Ali. Interview with Mohammed Ali, and 
Convention. Storm on the Coast. Napier's Convention Disapproved by Admiral 
Stopford. Virtually Accepted by Viscount Palnierston 198 


Ibrahim Pasha at Damascus. His able dispositions. His Retreat. Sufferings 
of the Egyptians. Personal details of Ibrahim Pasha. His high spirits. 
Evacuation of Syria. Retreat of Suleyman Pasha by the Gulf of Akaba 206 


Mohammed Ali's Government after the termination of the War. The Army 
partially Employed in Agriculture. Mohammed Ali receives the Decoration of 
Grand Vizier. Destructive Cattle Murrain. The Transit reorganised. Threat- 
ened revolt of Ahmed Pasha of Senaar. His Death. His Slave Hunts. Death 
of Boghos Bey. Angry Suspicions of Mohammed Ali on the Discovery of the 
Financial Embarrassment produced by his Erroneous and Oppressive System of 
Taxation. He Punishes the Governor of Damiettafor Cruelty and Fanaticism... 221 


Personal Habits of Mohammed Ali in his Old Age. Ibrahim Pasha. Abbas 
Pasha. Shereef Pasha. The Capitation Tax. Edhem Bey. New Educational 
Institutions. Printing Press at Boulak. Improvements in Cairo. Port of 
Boulak. Mohammed Ali's Palaces. Hydraulic Improvements 238 


Public Justice. Thieves. Crimes and Disorders of the Arnauts. Crimes in 
Harems. A Revolt in a Harem. Swindlers. Lawsuits. Criminal Punishments. 
Imprisonment for Debt. Scene in a Debtors' Prison 255 


The Ulema in the last years of Mohammed Ali's rule. State of Arabic 
Literature. Party Spirit among the Ulema. The Wahabys and Arabians proper 
resident in Cairo. Popular Superstition, and Imposture of Pretended Enchanters. 
Execution of the last Wizard 267 


State of the Christian population in the last years of Mohammed Ali's rule. 
Laudable Enforcement of Tolerance towards Christians. Basilios Bey's Death. 
The Copts. The Franks. Mr. Lane and Clot Bey. The Syrians and Greeks. 
The Caraite Jews. The Castle of Dogs. Music and Musicians. Jugglers. 
Nubian Population. Negroes 280 




Ibrahim Pasha's Health fails. He sails for Tuscany and France. Splendid 
Fetes given him by the French. Is hospitably received in Great Britain. 
Mohammed Ali visits Constantinople. The Nile Bar. Dotage of Mohammed 
Ali. Short Government of Ibrahim Pasha, terminated by his death. Death 
of Mohammed Ali 299 


Material Aspect of Cairo at the close of Mohammed Ali's career. The Khans, 
Bazaars, and Thoroughfares. The Slave Market. The Hasheesh Shops. The 
Corn Market. The Butchers' Quarter. Nubian Breweries. The Suburban 
Population. The Peasantry of the Environs. The various Markets in Cairo, its 
Suburbs, and Environs 309 


Management of the Mosques and Charitable Endowments. Mosque of 
Touloun. The College of the Azhar. The Mosque of Sheikhoun. Mosque of 
Hosseyneyn. Mosque of Hakem. Mosque of Daher. The Hospital of Kalaon. 
Mosque of Hassan. Mosque of Moeyed. Mosque of Sultan-el-Ghoury. 
Dervish Convents. Oratory of the Hindoos. Various Mosques, Fountains, and 
Schools 322 


Damascus. Estimate of its Population. Its Edifices. The Mosque of Beni 
Omeia. The Tombs of Yezeed and Bibars. Streets of Damascus. Baths and 
Coffeehouses. Private Dwellings. Antiquities. The Government and its 
Ramifications 345 


Personal Appearance of the Damascenes. Provisions in Damascus. Various 
Classes of the Population. Ignorance and Intolerance of the Inhabitants. The 
Mecca Pilgrimage. Condition of the Christians. Hindoo Porters. Domestic 
Manners. Christian Festivals ; 361 


Suburbs of Damascus. The Meidan. Salahieh. The other Suburbs. The 
Agar Damascenus. Former Suburbs. The Climate. Landed Property and its 
various Tenures. Their Abuses and Inconveniences 387 


Population of Aleppo. Public Edifices. Christian Quarter. Great Earth- 
quake. Armenian Convent. Ulema. Shereefs and Janissaries. British 
Archives. Renegades. Trade of Aleppo 400 


Feudal Families and Mountain Races of Syria 422 





WE now pass from the grand and elevated parts of 
modern Egyptian history to the dead flat of the petty 
intrigues and guerilla warfare of little men. From 
Bonaparte and Nelson from Kleber and Abercrombie 
to Elfy and Bardissy, is indeed a descent; and, if 
we linger and leisurely survey the more picturesque 
parts of our historical journey, we shall pass with all 
convenient speed over the uninteresting level which 
presents only one object worthy of attention, and that 
is the elevation of Mohammed Ali from an obscure station 
to be governor of Egypt, and possessed of the power 
which served as will be seen in the sequel utterly to 
annihilate the last remains of the Mameluke dominion. 
The importance of events, and not the mere lapse of 
years, will now direct us in the apportionment of the 
space at our disposal. 


Like nearly all the celebrated men who have cast their 
lot in Egypt, Mohammed AH came from a colder and 
more bracing region ; for Egypt has been from time 
immemorial the India of the adventurous northerns, 
civilian and military, of the Ottoman empire. Born 
at Cavula, in Roumelia, Mohammed Ali shewed in early 
life both a hankering after trade and personal courage as 
a soldier. In Eoumelia he traded in tobacco, and during 
the British expedition into Egypt he embarked at Mar- 
marice under the Capitan Pasha ; and, as aga at the head 
of three hundred Albanians and Eoumeliotes, distin- 
guished himself in the march on Cairo, after the battle 
in which Abercrombie fell, having been the first to 
enter Eahmanieh on the evacuation of that place by the 
troops of General Lagrange. 

No sooner were the French expelled from Egypt and 
the English about to leave, than the Mamelukes began 
again to raise their heads out of the slough into which 
they had sunk ; and, supposing that they had henceforth 
only to deal with the decadence and disorganization of 
the old Turkish government, they somewhat too con- 
fidently anticipated a resumption of the power that 
placed at their feet all the sensual luxuries of this 
favoured land. On the other hand, the great object of 
the Porte was to retain the power, and prevent it from 
again falling into the hands of the Mamelukes. Out of 
this complicated game Mohammed Ali rose the winner of 
the valley of the Nile. 

The first act of the Porte towards a resumption of full 
sovereignty took place before the English quitted Egypt, 
and was one of those strokes of policy which were 
formerly unhappily too common in Turkish history, but 
which, it is only justice to say, have fallen into desuetude 
in modern Turkish politics. The principal beys of the 
party of Murad were invited by the Capitan Pasha to 


enjoy his hospitalities at the encampment of Aboukir, 
and confer with him on the future government of Egypt. 
Several of the beys were averse to trusting their persons 
in the power of the Ottoman Admiral ; but others, 
regarding the immediate vicinity of the English force 
and the high character of General Hutohinson as a 
guarantee for fair treatment, resolved to accept the 
invitation ; more especially as by declining it they might 
leave an opening for the Capitan Pasha and General 
Hutchinson to make some arrangement for the future 
government of Egypt which should exclude them. 

The Capitan Pasha received them with sumptuous 
hospitality ; and, under pretext of a visit to General 
Hutchinson, he induced them to embark in his barge, 
as if about to confer with the English commander. At 
a short distance from the shore a boat approached which 
bore dispatches for the Capitan Pasha, who, in order to 
peruse them more at his ease, stepped into the other boat 
and was borne away from the beys, who, upon their 
barge being rowed round a bluff point, discovered the 
trap into which they had been allured. Armed boats 
rapidly bore down upon them, and they ordered their 
own rowers to put back; but, being overtaken, a struggle 
took place in which Osman Bey Tambourgi and three 
others were killed, and Osman Bey el Bardissy and two 
others were wounded. 

General Hutchinson was transported with just indig- 
nation at a procedure which associated the English name 
with an act of treachery so foreign to our principles and 
"usages. He ordered his troops under arms, and reclaimed 
the wounded for surgical care and attendance, the dead 
for honourable sepulture. Nor would he admit the 
validity of the Capitan Pasha's excuse, that the Beys 
had drawn their swords on a groundless suspicion, a 
statement inconsistent with the other and truer part of 


the Capitan Pasha's excuse, that it was the wish of the 
Porte to get quit of the Mamelukes, and that the 
regulation of the internal affairs of Egypt was within 
the sole competence of the Divan. 

While this was proceeding on the coast, the same 
bloody drama was enacted at Cairo under the eyes of 
the Anglo-Indian force. The Mamelukes, who had 
received pelisses and flatteries from Yousouff Pasha, 
were one night attacked without pity at Gizeh, the 
flash of the firing being visible from the windows of the 
English officers' quarters in Old Cairo. Later on the 
same night, at eleven o'clock, a detachment of Mamelukes 
presented themselves at the English quarters and claimed 
protection, which they received from General Eamsay in 
spite of the pressing and reiterated messages of the Grand 
Vizier to deliver them up ; General Eamsay very properly 
judging that it was by open force and vigorous measures 
that the power of th Porte must be re-established. 

That a struggle should recommence between the Porte 
and the Mamelukes was scarcely avoidable. These 
inexcusable acts precipitated it. The sympathies of the 
British troops were estranged, and the Mamelukes, 
without being much injured, were stung with resent- 
ment ; so that throughout all the subsequent transactions 
we are reminded of the old adage, that "honesty is the 
best policy." 

The new Grand Yizier, Yousouff Pasha, who had made 
his triumphal entry into Cairo as the representative of 
the resumption of the conquest of Selim, agreed very 
badly with the younger and more active Capitan Pasha ; 
and the latter, by his influence at Constantinople, pro- 
cured the nomination of governor of Egypt for Khousreff 
Pasha, a personage well known in the modern annals of 
the Ottoman empire; who filled the highest places in the 
gift of the Sultan; who was for nearly half a century 


the rival and opponent of Mohammed All; who was 
Pasha of Egypt, when Mohammed AH was still an aga 
of Arnauts ; and who, long after Mohammed All was in 
his grave, was called to the extraordinary consultative 
assemblies of the Porte in the most momentous emer- 
gency of her modern history. The youth who governed 
Egypt on the expulsion of the legions of the elder 
Bonaparte, was still able, in spite of the caducity of age, 
to sit in council on the measures that accompanied the 
Menschikoff crisis and immediately preceded the disem- 
barkation of the forces of another Bonaparte on the 
shores of the Crimea. 

Khousreff Pasha, when he arrived in Egypt, was a 
newly emancipated Georgian slave of the Capitan Pasha. 
His manners were polished, and his person was hand- 
some ; but the presumption of a parvenu was visible to 
those whom he had passed in the social scale : and it 
was at this early stage of his career, in the service of 
Khousreff Pasha, and against the Mamelukes, that 
Mohammed Ali first made himself talked of in Egypt. 

At this period every political circumstance in the 
country revealed a double action in operation the 
rivalry of the agents of the Porte, and their efforts 
sometimes jointly, and sometimes apart from one another, 
against thp. common enemy, the Mamelukes. It was 
not easy to uproot a power that had so long been 
nourished on the choice saps of Egypt ; and it cannot 
be overlooked that the Mamelukes, in returning to their 
contest with the Porte, had considerable advantages. They 
had been longer in the school of collision with the French 
than the soldiers of the Porte. Their system of warfare, 
unequal to a contest with European armies, was yet 
formidable to the feeble beginnings of the Porte in 
European discipline. By long habit they knew Egypt 
better than the freshly arrived agents and troops of the 


Porte; and their name carried more prestige with the 
inhabitants than that of the half consolidated Turkish 
power. It is true that they were no longer led by the 
skill and bravery of Murad Bey, and that Ibrahim Bey 
was now old and rapidly declining in vigour; but 
Osman Bey el Bardissy and Mohammed Bey el Elfy 
still remained. 

Osman Bey el Bardissy was a Circassian slave of 
Murad Bey, possessed of amazing corporeal strength and 
activity ; skilful as a horseman, and intrepid in battle. 
Being also of a generous disposition, the eyes of the 
Mamelukes were fixed on him as their leader in the 
absence of Elfy. Nor was expectation disappointed ; for 
even before Alexandria was finally evacuated by the 
English on the 14th March, 1803, the greater part of 
both Upper and Lower Egypt was again in the Mame- 
luke power. The important places of Cairo, Alexandria, 
and some others of less note, remained indeed to the 
Porte; but even the capital was soon destined to pass 
away from the hands of Khousreff Pasha, its represen- 
tative in Egypt. Deprived of a considerable portion of 
the revenues of the country, he could not pay the troops, 
and on the 2nd of May, 1803, a violent revolt broke 
out. The soldiery surrounded the house of the treasurer, 
whom they kept prisoner. Khousreff Pasha, incensed at 
this, ordered the artillery to fire on the troops, and the 
battle became general in the capital. Tahir Pasha, who 
commanded the troops as Lieutenant-General of the Pasha, 
now presented himself to Khousreff as a mediator between 
the insurgents and the governor of Egypt. Khousreff, 
however, declined a negociation which hurt his self-love, 
and awakened suspicions of the faithfulness of Tahir, 
which subsequent events justified; for on the following 
day he declared openly against Khousreff, his benefactor, 
and even directed the soldiers to escalade the walls. So 


much was the governor taken by surprise, that he never 
knew his position until he saw his palace in course of 
being battered down. Nothing was therefore left for 
him but a precipitate flight, with his household, his 
harem, and those officers who remained faithful to him. 
By the eastern branch of the Nile he made his way to 
Mansourah so renowned in history for the greater dis- 
asters of the valiant and pious St. Louis ; and no sooner 
was he gone than Tahir, having matured his plans, 
assembled at his house in Cairo the principal officers of 
the law, and was invested by the cadi with a pelisse, 
as caimakasm or deputy, until the will of the Porte 
should be known as to the appointment of a successor 
to Khousreff Pasha, thus virtually deposed. 

But Tahir himself soon met with the just reward of 
his perfidy, in the violent termination of his brief tenure 
of power. On the 25th May, just twenty-two days after 
his provisional investiture, two Binbashis, or chiefs of a 
thousand, named Moussa and Ismael, presented them- 
selves to him with the old complaint that the pay of the 
troops was in arrear. Tahir Pasha attempted to intimi- 
date them, but in this he failed, and the complaining, 
chiefs abruptly ended the dispute by drawing their 
swords and cutting off his head, which they threw out 
of the window. A general fight ensued, and the affair 
ended with the house being burnt down. 

By the flight of the Pasha, and the death of the com- 
mander of the troops, Mohammed Ali, whose courage 
and conciliatory qualities had been equally conspicuous 
during the troubles and who had won the applause of 
the military and the civilians by overawing the turbu- 
lent, and protecting the citizens became the virtual ruler 
of Cairo. Unable, however, to keep his ground against 
both the Mamelukes and Khousreff Pasha, he allied him- 
self with the former, and moved against the nominal 


governor of Egypt, who had now ensconced himself at 
Damietta ; Osman Bey el Bardissy leading the Mame- 
luke and Arab cavalry by land, while the force under 
Mohammed AH descended the Nile in the numerous 
barges of transport. 

When the troops of Mohammed Ali arrived at Da- 
mietta, they found that Khousreff had planted his artil- 
lery along a canal leading from the Nile. A Turkish 
soldier belonging to Osman Bey el Bardissy, who spoke 
Arabic, put on the costume of a fellah, and, pretending 
to be a seller of melons, entered Damietta. Favoured 
by his disguise, he found no difficulty in sounding the 
canal. Seeking out the currents, he discovered near the 
bridge a place where there were not more than three 
feet of water; and during the night Osman Bey and 
Mohammed Ali, leading their troops, passed the canal at 
this point, the water being up to their middles. This 
sudden and unexpected manoeuvre disconcerted the troops 
of Khousreff. The artillery was seized, and at daybreak 
the troops, bursting into Damietta, carried it in spite of 
an active fire of musketry. Khousreff retired to the fort 
of Lesbeh, at the mouth of the Nile; but being unable 
to hold out, was obliged to capitulate, and was conducted 
to Cairo with the honours due to his nominal rank. 

Thus ended in disaster the brief government of Khous- 
reff Pasha. But Egypt was not yet regained by the 
Mamelukes. Mohammed Ali, with a long train of Ar- 
naut and Eoumeliote followers, held the balance, which 
he could incline with decisive effect for the Porte or the 
beys. Egypt was torn to pieces with faction and revolt ; 
but, nominally, all were the most humble and obedient 
servants of the Sultan. 

Alexandria and Eosetta still remained to the Porte ; 
and the news from Egypt having filled the Divan with 
disquietude, Ali Pasha Gezaiiii was sent to govern Egypt. 


This officer, having been expelled from Barbary, had 
lived for some years enjoying the protection and hospi- 
tality of Murad Bey in Egypt, and had aided in the 
resistance to the French after their landing. Gezairli 
was more of an intriguer than a soldier, and remained 
within the walls of Alexandria while Osman Bey el 
Bardissy and Mohammed Ali besieged and took Eosetta 
and Fort Jullien, which commands the mouth of the 
Nile. Gezairli, finding he could not get a footing by 
force, tried fraud, and was overreached by those whom 
he sought to deceive. 

On the 27th of January, 1804, Gezairli went to the 
camp of Osman Bey el Bardissy as guest; but while 
there he entered into a secret understanding with Sheikh 
Sadat of Cairo, to raise the native Egyptians against the 
Mamelukes. The bearer of the letter being, however, 
caught and confronted with Gezairli, who could not deny 
his own communication, he preserved a dead silence. 
Bardissy and his confederates thereupon adopted prompt 
measures to get rid of a pasha who sought to extinguish 
the Mameluke rule. The deputy of Osman Bey el 
Bardissy proceeded to the tent of Gezairli, and informed 
him that his horses awaited him. "Horses for where?" 
said Gezairli. "For Syria," said the Arnaut of Osman 
Bey. " Your conduct has rendered you unworthy of 
remaining in Egypt." A number of mamelukes attended 
him for a couple of days, when, in consequence of secret 
orders which had been received from the confederates, 
Gezairli and his suite were put to death. This ephemeral 
governor of Egypt carried his winding sheet always with 
him, and met his fate with the resignation of an oriental, 
his last wish being that he should not be deprived of the 
honours of sepulture. 

These little circumstances show an habitual anarchy 
unknown to Europe, except during the period that 


elapsed between the fall of the Koman Empire and the 
settlement of the feudal system. How miserable the state 
of society, when perfidy, murder, and rapine, extinguish 
hope and even fear, which is replaced by a hardened 
indifference for fear is the exception to the normal 
security of society, and the sign that a violent end is 
not the general rule. 

An event now occurred which excited general atten- 
tion in Egypt the return of Elfy Bey, after a sojourn 
in England. On the 12th of February, 1804, an English 
frigate dropped anchor in Aboukir Bay, and disembarked 
this Mameluke leader. Selim Aga Tamerlane, the former 
master of the youthful Elfy, had made a present of him 
to Murad Bey, who returned the compliment by a gift 
of a " thousand" (Arabice Elf) measures of corn ; and 
hence his surname. Elfy Bey was a brave and intelli- 
gent man ; but lawless rapine and a disorderly profusion 
alternately filled and exhausted his coffers. He was 
occasionally violent in his temper, but habitually effemi- 
nate in his manner and person, using the various cos- 
metics known to the Orientals to hide the approaches of 

Uncertain how he might be received, or as to the 
best mode of forming a nucleus of political and military 
power, Elfy Bey advanced cautiously towards Eosetta, 
while his partisans and adherents in the capital proceeded 
to Gizeh, in order to prepare for his reception, and to 
join him with such forces as might have weight in the 
immediate vicinity of Cairo, so that the union of material 
force with the intelligence and audacity of the returned 
chief, might at once be decisive. But these plans and 
movements coming to the ears of his rival, Bardissy, and 
of Mohammed AH, commander of the Turkish troops, a 
closer intelligence was established between them, and 
after two days' conference it was determined to take 


prompt and vigorous measures to pluck up Elfy by the 
roots, before he should have time to extend and consoli- 
date his influence. 

At Eosetta, Elfy Bey had been received by the au- 
thorities with a respect which gradually grew cooler as 
the time of his embarkation for Cairo drew near. He as- 
cended the western branch of the Nile without accident ; 
and having passed the canal of Menouf, near the capital, 
he met some boats filled with Albanians ; who, not daring 
to attack him, contented themselves with pillaging the 
baggage boats containing all the rich presents he had 
received in England. Jewellery, trinkets, clothes, and 
instruments, were in a few days seen for sale in the 
bazaars of Cairo, Meanwhile the partisans who awaited 
him at Gizeh, being vigorously attacked by troops under 
Mohammed Ali, were killed or dispersed. Elfy Bey 
himself was hunted by the men of Bardissy, and only 
escaped by preserving his incognito when the cavass 
bashi of Bardissy passed in his boat. Thus tracked on 
all hands, and aware of the fate of his partisans, Elfy 
quitted his boat ; and, passing to the Arabs of Ha \vaytat, 
was mounted on a horse, and with a couple of dromedary 
guides sought safety in flight. Being pursued, he saved 
his life by throwing down his rich dresses and ornaments 
to occupy attention, while he escaped to an Arab chief 
in the desert between Suez and the Mediterranean. 

But the difficulties of Osman Bey el Bardissy were not 
ended with the defeat of Elfy. It was not written in 
the book of fate that he or any other Mameluke should 
continue the line of the Murads and Ibrahims. Moham- 
med Ali and his Arnauts could not be put aside by a 
section or remnant of the Mamelukes struggling for 
power. On the 24th of February, Mohammed Ali and 
his Arnauts went to Bardissy and told him that if he did 
not pay them their arrears they would immediately act 


against him. Bardissy, whose chief reliance had hitherto 
heen on Mohammed Ali, alarmed at such a demonstration, 
calmed them with a promise of payment ; but the fulfil- 
ment of his promise carried with it measures which 
proved fatal to Bardissy. Heavy contributions were 
forthwith levied, not only on the native, but on the 
European merchants, in order to raise the necessary sum. 
All Cairo was disgusted with these exactions, and the 
very measures adopted by Bardissy to prolong his rule 
drew him towards the abyss, and procured for Mohammed 
Ali the opportunity of finally driving him into the insig- 
nificance to which Elfy Bey had fallen. The wily 
chief, far from identifying himself with these exorbitant 
exactions, consolidated his popularity with the sheikhs of 
Cairo by emphatically condemning the measure. 

Public opinion being now mature, Mohammed Ali 
proceeded, in utter disregard of his professions of alliance 
with Bardissy, to strike the blow which was to make 
straight the way for the direct government of the Porte. 
On the 12th of March, 1804, suddenly assembling all 
his troops by preconcerted signal, he surrounded the 
house of Bardissy; and the first intelligence that the 
Mamelukes had of this attack, was the sound of the 
musketry of the Arnauts as they forced their way into 
the passages. A battery of field-pieces protected the 
house of Bardissy, but the chief of his artillery had been 
gained over by Mohammed Ali, who was a consummate 
master of the oriental science of intrigue and stratagem ; 
and this was on a small scale the prototype of the 
greater defections which subsequently made Mohammed 
Ali so formidable for a brief period. The recreant 
artilleryman, wheeling round his cannon, began to batter 
down the palace he was employed to protect; and the 
unfortunate Bardissy saw that there was no chance of 
safety but in flight. Suddenly loading his valuables on 


dromedaries, he issued from his great gate, the Mame- 
lukes hewing a way for him in front. Encouraging his 
own men with drawn sabre, Bardissy broke through the 
hostile ranks of the Arnauts ; and, though wounded, gained 
first the fort of the Institute, and then the open country. 
The aged Ibrahim Bey, of whom the Albanians took less 
heed, held his own until daybreak next morning, when 
he also quitted Cairo amidst a shower of bullets, and 
escaped by the desert. The Pasha, who was prisoner 
in the citadel of Cairo, was summarily dismissed to 
Constantinople; and Khurschid Pasha, then at Alexan- 
dria, was called to Cairo amid the general applause of 
an eastern public, always ready to throw off the tyrant 
of the day. 

The government of Khurschid Pasha was only a pro- 
longed anarchy. He was pressed on the one hand by the 
Turkish and Albanian troops, demanding pay ; and, on 
the other, he found it impossible to collect the land-tax 
regularly since the Mamelukes, no longer able to main- 
tain an existence in Cairo, scoured the provinces, par- 
ticularly of Upper Egypt, and carried on a petty war- 
fare with the Turkish troops, agents, and collectors. 
Khurschid Pasha was thus driven to retrace the vicious 
circle of his predecessors ; and, in his difficulties, acted 
the tyrant and oppressor of the mercantile and monied 
interests of the large towns. Sitt Nefeeseh, the inoffen- 
sive widow of Murad Bey, was arrested without cause, 
for the purpose of extorting money from her, and only 
liberated upon her cause being taken up by the heads of 
the legal and religious corporations. Khurschid Pasha, 
without the power to enforce obedience, or to carry 
on the functions of government, and, consequently 
unable to act with justice, incurred the same odium 
as his predecessors, and shared their fate. His govern- 
ment presents a tantalizing monotony of convulsions 


unworthy of record. Indeed, all the pashas that inter- 
vened between the French rule and that of Moham- 
med All, are a will-o'-the-wisp to the historian. A 
pasha of some sort flits before the eyes, but when we 
attempt to grasp him he is gone. A daring adventurer 
is always in pursuit of the possession of power ; but no 
sooner is the game hunted down than the huntsman 
himself is worried to death in turn. Thus successively 
rose and fell Mohammed Khousreff Pasha, Tahir Pasha, 
Ali Pasha Gezairli, and Khurschid Pasha. Mohammed 
Ali alone stands out the distinct historical figure in the 

During all this time Mohammed Ali increased his 
popularity with the native Egyptians, by acting as 
moderator between the sheikhs and the oppressive 
government. At length, in May, 1805, he was made 
titular Pasha of Djiddah, in Arabia, having by this time 
become well known to the Porte for his civil and military 
capacity. As Khurschid Pasha became more odious by 
his exactions, the popularity of Mohammed Ali increased ; 
so that, although named Pasha of Djiddah, the avenue 
to the Pashalic of Egypt gradually opened itself to him, 
and his first accession to the government of this most 
wealthy and important province of the Ottoman empire 
was actually founded upon and favoured by public 

At length, on the 14th of May, Cairo being filled with 
malcontent deputations from the provinces, the town rose 
in revolt. The first rush was made to the Mehkmeh, or 
Court of Justice, the seat of the cadi, who, in a panic, 
caused the gates to be shut. A deputation of sheikhs 
then waited on Mohammed Ali, declaring that they 
wished no longer to be governed by Khurschid Pasha, 
who had rendered himself odious by his persecutions, 
and that it was their desire that Mohammed Ali should 


be his successor. This bold captain, who was no stranger 
to the preparations made for the purpose of deposing 
Khurschid, appeared to decline the perilous honour ; but, 
being pressed by the sheikhs, he at length accepted it, 
and was invested by the ulema with the pelisse in token 
of his new dignity. 

The not unwilling defection of Mohammed Ali was to 
Khurschid Pasha a fatal event. The commander of his 
best troops being virtually put in his place by the most 
influential civilians in Egypt, it was only the possession 
of the citadel that retained for him the semblance of 
power; and the adherence of the Porte to his elevation 
could not be counted on when he was no longer in a 
position to preserve their authority from contempt. He, 
however, stood on his dignity and the letter of the law. 
"When a deputation went in order to inform him of his de- 
position, he replied that he held his commission from the 
Sultan, and would not resign it at the dictation of his 
inferiors. At the same time he provisioned the citadel, 
and proposed to defend his authority by force of arms. 

Mohammed Ali, now bound by his interests to side 
with the sheikhs, blockaded the citadel, the great mosque 
of Sultan Hassan and its lofty minaret serving both as 
a post of offence and a tower of observation ; and, on the 
29th, two mortars were carried up the steep acclivity 
of mount Mokattam, which overlooks the citadel, in 
order to bombard it. Khurschid Pasha, on his side, 
attempted to move the commanders of the Turkish troops 
in the provinces to come to his aid and vindicate the 
authority of the Sultan ; but the star of Khurschid was 
on the decline, and they sent his letter to Mohammed 
Ali, and came to Cairo in order to receive pelisses from 
him, as well as his orders to keep in check the Mame- 
lukes, who since the disruption of the Turkish govern- 
ment had again began to approach Cairo. 


The selikdar of Khurschid Pasha occupied old Cairo, 
and made every exertion to supply the citadel with pro- 
visions ; but a spy having informed the besiegers that a 
convoy of fifty camels was directed toward the citadel by 
by-paths, escorted by soldiers and armed servants, an 
attack on the convoy was organised before it could enter 
the walls. This was successful, and the survivors of the 
escort, being conducted to Mohammed Ali, were put to 
death. Khurschid was so indignant at this proceeding, 
that, on the next day, he bombarded the town severely ; 
while the mortars on mount Mokattam launched their 
shells into the citadel, under the direction of Mohammed 
Ali's gunners. At the same time a heavy piece of 
ordnance battered the great gate of the citadel. 

From the outset of these proceedings the ulema had 
sent their version of the differences to Constantinople. 
The agents of Mohammed Ali had been equally active ; 
and, the siege having continued to the 9th of July, a 
capudji bashi, sent by the Porte from Constantinople, 
arrived at Cairo, accompanied by an officer of the Grand 
Vizier, who was deputed to examine and report upon the 
state of affairs. His dispatches were publicly opened, 
and, being read in the presence of the ulema, it was seen 
that the government of Egypt was at length conferred 
on Mohammed Ali, and that Khurschid Pasha was ordered 
to Alexandria to wait the orders of the Porte, This was 
followed up by the arrival of a Turkish squadron, having 
2,500 troops on board, with a view to act decisively; 
for Khurschid, finding himself abandoned by his Turkish 
troops, was, in his desperation, renewing correspondence 
with the Mamelukes. The arrival of the Ottoman 
squadron with the fresh troops, and the vigilance with 
which Mohammed Ali intercepted all correspondence, 
however, determined Khurschid Pasha to surrender ; and 
on the 3rd of August Mohammed Ali received the citadel, 


the tenure of which has been from the days of Saladin, 
its builder the recognised proof of the actual possession 
of the government of Egypt. 

Thus did Mohammed Ali arrive at the first stage of his 
extraordinary career; and it certainly was by a rare 
union of social, intellectual, and physical powers, that 
he emerged from utter obscurity to high rank, and subse- 
quently to a power that made itself felt through all the 
Ottoman empire. Nor can I here resist the temptation 
of giving a summary of his qualities, although somewhat 
anticipatory of the period when their development fixed 
on him the attention of Europe. His personal courage 
was indubitable : amidst shot falling like hail he pre- 
served consummate coolness and self-possession. His 
sagacity was extraordinary, whether in relation to things 
or men. Profound dissembler himself until his hour 
came, he was at the same time a master in the penetra- 
tion of the motives of those with whom he had to deal. 
Nor was any sordid avarice, that worst foe of popularity, 
one of his defects. In treasure, as in blood, he was 
alieni appetens, sui profusus. An overflowing liberality 
was in accordance both with his temperament and his 
political plans. His largesses gained him friends ; while 
the native Egyptians, whom he squeezed to supply his 
demands, were impotent in their enmity. 

But there is much to be said in abatement of his 
merits. Although superior to a thirst for blood, from 
mere vengeance and resentment, and an easy pardoner 
of those who were no longer able to injure him, no com- 
punction ever deterred him from removing the obstacles 
to his lawless ambition, by fraud or force most fre- 
quently by a compound of both. ISTor was he able, with 
all his perseverance, to conquer his aboriginal want of 
education. Anxious to introduce European civilization 
into Egypt, he remained to the end of his life in utter 


ignorance of the economical principles on which the pros- 
perity of a State reposes. Greedy of the praise of Euro- 
peans, and, in the latter part of his career, anxious to 
count for something in the balance of military power, 
his illusions on this head shewed to himself and to others 
the wide interval that separates the scientific organiza- 
tion of European military and political establishments 
from the Egyptian imitations which cost him efforts so 
lengthened and persevering. But although unable to 
resist the dictation of any European power, he was 
within Egypt all-potent in establishing an order that had 
never existed before, so as to afford those facilities that 
have proved so valuable to the Indian transit. He found 
Egypt in anarchy; and long before he had terminated 
his career, the journey from the Mediterranean to Nubia 
was as secure as that from London to Liverpool. He 
learned to read, and attempted to write, after he had at- 
tained his fortieth year ; and, when we add that the prac- 
tical result of his efforts was to leave his family in the 
hereditary government of Egypt, Mohammed Ali must 
be admitted to have been, without exception, the most 
remarkable character in the modern history of the Otto- 
man empire. 




DURING all this time, as we have seen, the Mamelukes 
were by no means extinct. A considerable part of rural 
Egypt was in their power. Mohammed Bey el Elfy and 
Osman Bey el Bardissy, two able men, possessing a con- 
siderable prestige, and having followers well mounted, 
maintained more close relations with the nomad Arabs 
than the Pashas of Cairo did ; but the period was rapidly 
approaching when they were to be totally swept away 
from the political stage of Egypt, by two massacres 
which were revoltingly characteristic of the oriental 
school of politics and warfare. 

Mohammed Ali, well knowing that with his Albanian 
troopers he could make no impression on well-mounted 
cavalry, caused his partisans to open communications 
with the Mamelukes, proposing, in consideration of a 
considerable sum of money, to admit them into Cairo on 
the day of the festivity of the cutting the sluices of the 
Nile, when Mohammed Ali with all his officers would be 
outside the walls above Cairo. The stratagem was suc- 
cessful, and the Mamelukes fell completely into the 

A long line of bazaars and narrow streets leads from 
the gates on the north side of Cairo to the citadel, one 


portion of which tetween the gates of Succour and 
Victory, on the north, and the so-called Bab Zueileh in 
the centre of the town is the principal thoroughfare of 
the Egyptian metropolis ; while somewhat to the east of 
this line, and nearer mount Mokattam, is the venerated 
mosque of the Azhar, the seat of learning and religion. 
On the 18th of August, 1805, a corps of mamelukes 
burst into the suburb of Hoseyneey, principally inhabited 
by the turbulent butchers of the metropolis, and then 
proceeded to the Gate of Victory, which was left guarded 
only by a few fellaheen, who had opened it to some 
peasants with camels loaded with straw. These were 
speedily overpowered, and the mamelukes advanced boldly 
into the town. Mohammed Ali had fully calculated that 
they would proceed up the main thoroughfare of the 
bazaars ; and therefore, at an advanced part of their pro- 
gress, near the Bab Zueileh, a considerable number of 
Arnauts, ambuscaded in the houses, fired upon the 
mounted mamelukes through the apertures of the carved 
wooden lattices, and immediately compelled them to 
retreat backwards towards the mosque and bazaar of El 
Ghoury. In the narrow streets and crowded thorough- 
fares cavalry was of no avail against invisible assailants, 
while every bullet from a window, or from behind the 
numerous angles, brought down a horse or a man ; and, 
however little we may approve of the way in which the 
mamelukes were led into the trap, there can be no doubt 
that it was the most effectual way of putting a cavalry 
force in the worst case, and securing for Albanian rifles 
the most advantageous opportunity of action. 

If a passage could not be found in front, it was equally 
impossible for the mamelukes to make good their retreat 
through the defile of houses and bazaars in the rear; 
for no sooner were they engaged in the centre of the 
town, than, by Mohammed Ali's direction, a binbashi, 


with a sufficient force, blocked up the bazaar of the bra- 
ziers the cavern-like shops of which gave ample cover 
to the oblique fire of the Albanian rifles, which told with 
deadly effect in this narrow passage. Despair seized the 
mamelukes. Springing from their horses, they sought 
to escape in all directions, entering houses and scrambling 
over walls. 

Not far from the great hospital which the munificence 
of Sultan Kalaoun raised for suffering humanity, is the 
superb mosque of Sultan Barkouk, the first of the Circas- 
sian Mameluke Sultans, upon the desk of which stand to 
this day large and splendidly illuminated Korans the 
admiration of all Egypt. Here the remnant of the 
mamelukes took refuge, and here the binbashi agreed 
to spare their lives on the delivery of their arms. Upon 
acceding to this demand, they were deprived of their 
dresses and money, and, being bound, were taken before 
Mohammed Ali. 

One of the prisoners was Achmet Bey, formerly gover- 
nor of Damietta, whom the Pasha addressed with the 
words " Well ! and you too have fallen into the trap." 
To this he returned no answer, but only asked leave to 
drink, on which the guards untied his hands and gave 
him a porous vase of water. With rapidity he seized the 
poniard of an aga standing near him, and attempted to 
plunge it into the body of Mohammed Ali, who ran up 
a staircase out of his way, while the soldiers threw them- 
selves on Achmet Bey, and he fell pierced with their 
swords. During the night the mameluke prisoners were 
kept in the lower part of Mohammed Ali's house, and on 
the following morning all were mercilessly massacred, 
excepting those who paid a heavy ransom for the recovery 
of their liberty. 

The power of Mohammed Ali now seemed firmly 
established in Egypt, and he appeared himself to confide 


so much in the permanence of his prosperity, that his 
sons Toussoon and Ibrahim, were sent for from Turkey 
proper, and the former was made commandant of the 
citadel. But scarcely had Mohammed Ali reached this 
elevation, when the Porte, faithful to its traditionary 
policy of never allowing any Pasha to take deep root in 
a particular locality, and of always keeping the supreme 
government in function, began to devise means of getting 
him removed from a command so isolated as to confer a 
virtual independence. Accordingly, the Capitan Pasha 
was sent to Egypt with four ships of the line, two 
frigates, a corvette, and a brig, having on board Moussa 
Pasha, of Saloniki, appointed to the government of Egypt, 
the purpose of the Porte being to transfer Mohammed 
Ali to the Pashalic of Saloniki. This personage was to 
be supported by the feeble remains of the Mamelukes, 
who were now no longer formidable to the Porte, and 
most willing at this juncture to become the instruments 
of its policy. 

But Mohammed Ali managed by skill and dexterity 
to maintain his ground. All his faithful Albanians swore 
on a sabre held by the seniors to support his views ; and 
the ulema of Cairo, with whom at this time he main- 
tained close relations, were also set in motion with 
memorials to the Porte setting forth the advantages of 
Mohammed Ali's rule. But, in the meantime, the coun- 
tenance of the Capitan Pasha again enabled the Mame- 
lukes to raise their heads in Lower Egypt; and at 
Negyleh a sudden and successful attack of Elfy Bey's 
cavalry on the troops of Mohammed Ali, under the com- 
mand of his nephew Tahir, augured well for Moussa and 
Elfy, who were henceforth to rule conjointly in Egypt. 

But the next operation of Elfy, which was the siege 
of Damanhour, a town situated between Alexandria and 
Eahmanieh, completely failed. The inhabitants defended 


themselves, as much to avoid pillage as to second the 
views of Mohammed Ali ; while Elfy, instead of receiving 
the undivided support of the other mamelukes, was the 
object of the jealousy of Osman Bey el Bardissy and 
his partisans. This caused the failure of the projects to 
oust Mohammed Ali from his government; and, while 
the Mamelukes were divided, the Capitan Pasha was 
bribed in accordance with the deplorable manners and 
usages of oriental officials. At length, war being about 
to break out between Eussia and the Porte, the Capitan 
Pasha sailed for the Dardanelles loaded with presents 
from. Mohammed Ali ; and on the 2nd of November, 1806, 
a capudji bashi of the Porte arrived, bearing firmans 
formally constituting him Pasha of Egypt. 

Neither Osman Bey el Bardissy, nor Mohammed Bey 
el Elfy, long survived the failure of their schemes. The 
former, devoured by disappointment, was struck down 
by bilious fever ; and a remedy, administered to him by 
a charlatan, proving worse than the disease, terminated 
his troubled existence. Elfy, disappointed at the failure 
of the siege of Damanhour, was near Cairo preparing to 
retreat into Upper Egypt, watched at Embabeh by 
Mohammed Ali who, as his troops consisted mostly 
of infantry, could undertake nothing decisive against the 
well-appointed mameluke cavalry. An attack of cholera, 
in which his body became quite livid, however, carried 
off Elfy, who was buried with all the honours customary 
on such occasions. Mohammed Ali was sleeping in his 
tent near Gizeh when an Arab brought him the news of 
the death of his enemy, and immediately received a lar- 
gesse for the intelligence. 

At this period took place the second and minor British 
expedition to Egypt of 1807, which futile in object, 
inadequate in means, disgraceful rather than disastrous 
in its results, and altogether uninteresting in its details 


need not detain us long. A division under General 
Eraser landed in the environs of Alexandria, and took 
possession of that city without firing a shot. Britain, 
having broken with the Porte, designed to revive the 
rule of the Mamelukes, being evidently not fully aware 
of the irreparable blows which this oligarchy had re- 
ceived, and of the vigour with which the aifairs of the 
Porte were managed at this period by the Vizier who 
was subsequently destined to employ his talents with 
dire effect against his imperial constituent; and while 
General Eraser was awaiting a demonstration of the 
Mamelukes on the coast, Mohammed Ali was in Upper 
Egypt, chastising and pursuing them up the Nile, in the 
vicinity of Siout. 

No sooner was the Pasha informed of the disembark- 
ation, than he returned to Cairo with that promptitude 
and energy which afford such a contrast to the dilatory 
and lethargic methods of the orientals. Well knowing 
what chord to touch, he appealed with effect to the reli- 
gious feelings of the sheikhs and the ulema ; and suddenly 
exactions and irregularities were forgotten, in sympathy 
for, and confidence in, a champion of Islamism, who, 
when the danger was past, shewed them to their aston- 
ishment how latitudinarian he could be. Provisions and 
funds were liberally given; and Mohammed Ali de- 
scended with celerity to the environs of Eosetta, where 
a first attempt at settlement by the British had met with 
some resistance. Unable, with a feeble and insignificant 
force, to maintain their ground against a man of energy 
with the resources of Egypt at his back, and cut off by 
impassable distance from Mameluke aid, a retreat upon 
Aboukir and Alexandria became imperative, after several 
combats, which did not prove very deadly to either 
party. Mohammed Ali and his troops blockaded rather 
than besieged Alexandria ; and the British government 


at length convinced of the futility of an expedition 
which, in dimensions and results, afforded such a contrast 
to that which we have previously described, withdrew 
the troops to Sicily, to the great satisfaction of Moham- 
med Ali, who restored the British prisoners with acts 
of courtesy. 




BEING now free from the English, Mohammed All 
began to develop his plans for taking firm root in 
Egypt. He saw that, by extracting large revenues, he 
could maintain his influence by rich presents to Constan- 
tinople. His military position in Egypt was improved, 
and the increasing and advancing power of the Wahabys 
rendered him more than ever necessary to the Porte. 
"With the interior of the country tranquil, and freed from 
civil war, one might expect the task of the historian at 
this period to be the record of a lucid interval of pros- 
perity, however brief, after foreign and domestic wars of 
a character so devastating. Such, however, is not the 
case ; and we have now to relate an act of spoliation un- 
accompanied, to be sure, by bloodshed but of a grasp 
more comprehensive and ruinous than anything that had 
been done by the predecessors of Mohammed Ali. 

It was in the years 1808-10 that Mohammed Ali 
effected a revolutionary transfer of landed property 
in Egypt. Not content with greatly increasing the 
taxes on the soil, he ordered an inspection to be made of 
all title deeds ; and, on one pretext or another, his agents 
objected to their validity, contesting the legitimacy of 


the successions, imposing additions to the land-tax, and 
in a great multitude of instances retaining the title- 
deeds, which were burned. A few influential sheikhs 
were spared; but, wherever the government chose, the 
land, for want of titles, gradually lapsed to the miri ; so 
that in a few years the Pasha became landlord of nearly 
the whole of the soil of Egypt, some insignificant an- 
nuities being granted in compensation. Mohammed Ali's 
elevation to power was, as already said, founded on 
public opinion ; but his first acts, after the consolidation 
of his rule, were the most flagrant defiance of public 
opinion, and of the sacred rights of private property in 
the modern annals of Egypt. The Mamelukes, the 
French, and the intervening pashas, had overwhelmed 
the people with exactions; but no attempt had been 
made to tear up by the very roots the pacific and legal 
possession of property. 

The commotion which these proceedings caused was 
violent in the extreme, and society was agitated to its 
inmost depths. Even the women and the children 
crowded the mosques, and made the Azhar resound with 
their wailings. Classes and individuals, utter strangers 
to politics and political discussion, stood aghast at an 
event which rendered reasoning superfluous, and pre- 
cipitated all the rights of property into a common abyss. 
The sheikhs met in assembly, and used every resource, 
both of representation and petition to the Pasha and the 
Porte; but Mohammed AH was firm in his purpose. 
The vehement representations of the sheikhs against the 
additional land taxes, and even the persevering refusals 
of Said Omar Mekrum, the nackeeb of the shereefs, to go 
near the divan of the Pasha, were declared by him to 
savour of a stiff-necked and rebellious spirit, which must 
be repressed. And, throughout this curious struggle, the 
firm defence of the indefeasible rights of property was 


conveniently characterised by a lawless governor as an 
aggression, and an invasion of the supreme authority. 
Said Omar Mekrum was exiled to Damietta. The mili- 
tary governors of provinces arbitrarily collected contri- 
butions without the intervention of the Coptic clerks; 
and thenceforth began that direct grinding of the pea- 
santry, which, before the death of Mohammed AH, greatly 
reduced them in number, and impoverished them almost 
to the minimum of possible human existence. 

If we cast our eyes abroad at this period (1809), we 
find that events in Arabia were preparing a triumph for 
Mohammed Ali, and an extension of his political power. 
This vast country the cradle of Islamism was now 
overrun by the Wahaby reformers, who, from small be- 
ginnings, had, mastered both Mecca and Medina; and, 
although without the science of European warfare, made 
up for their deficiencies by an enthusiastic and undaunted 
bravery in action, as well as by great powers of endur- 
ance in the arduous campaigns of this torrid region. Their 
peculiar doctrines were based on the self-denial of the 
early Moslems, which made them avoid both those stimu- 
lants which expend the nervous and muscular energies, 
and those lethargic habits which are alternately the effect 
and the cause of inaction. 

The barren shores of the Eed Sea being in a great 
measure devoid of ports and of navigation, and the trade 
of Suez having sunk into insignificance, it was not easy 
to transport an army from Egypt to Arabia. By a series 
of most painful efforts, wood, cordage, and other mate- 
rials for shipbuilding, were carried from the ports of 
Turkey to Egypt, and across the desert, on the backs of 
camels to Suez. Numbers of men and of those useful 
beasts of burden perished in the attempt ; but at length, 
after incredible efforts, eighteen vessels were launched 
in the space of less than a year, and fitted up for the 


conveyance of troops and provisions. But a baptism of 
blood accompanied their launch, for the solemnity of 
the departure from Cairo of the troops destined for the 
Arabian expedition was chosen for the final massacre of 
the Mamelukes. The infirmities of Ibrahim Bey had 
shewn the Mamelukes that they could no longer hope 
for any revival of their supremacy ; the remaining 
heads of them were therefore disposed towards a passive 
and luxurious existence, giving no further umbrage to 
the Porte or to Mohammed Ali, and contenting themselves 
with as large a share as they could grasp of the produce 
of Egypt. Mohammed Ali, on his side, was not dis- 
pleased to patch up an accommodation with those turbu- 
lent barons of Eastern feudalism, so as to have more 
elbow-room to carry out his designs of a virtual sove- 
reignty under the mask of zeal for the service of the 
Porte, and at the same time to have them more se- 
curely in his power when the convenient moment came 
for getting entirely rid of them. 

Shahin Bey, the elected successor of Elfy Bey, had 
made his submission to Mohammed Ali, and signed an 
arrangement, the conditions of which were advantageous 
to him. From the Pyramids up the left bank of the 
Nile to beyond Beni Souef, and including the Faioum, 
was assigned to him as an appanage ; and, on his present- 
ing himself for investiture to Mohammed Ali at Cairo, 
he was loaded with rich gifts of shawls, pelisses, and dia- 
mond-mounted daggers. The other Mamelukes, even 
although jealous of Shahin Bey, were also gradually 
obliged to yield. The beys at Siout on the Upper Nile 
wished at first to refuse tribute. But the Mamelukes 
being no longer a corps united under an Ali Bey, or a 
Murad, as in former times, were fain to yield on finding 
that Mohammed Ali himself had come to Siout with an 
army of several thousand men to collect the tribute. 


After this there was not even the shadow of a rising. 
Many of the Mamelukes came to Cairo and sank com- 
pletely into sloth and sensuality, passing from the wild to 
the tame state like beasts fatted for slaughter. 

In February, 1811, the chiefs destined by Mohammed 
Ali to extirpate the Wahaby reformers, and restore 
Arabia to the Caliph of Constantinople, went to encamp 
at Kubbet el Azab, on the desert near Cairo. Here 
4000 men were united under the orders of Toussoun 
Pasha, the son of Mohammed Ali, who was destined to 
command the expedition. On the following Friday the 
youthful general was to receive the pelisse of investi- 
ture, and thereafter to proceed to the camp by the gate 
of Victory the astrologers having fixed on this day as 
propitious to the success of the enterprise. All the civil 
and military authorities, and the principal people of the 
country, were informed of the approach of the ceremony ; 
and, on the night before, the Mameluke chiefs were 
invited to take part in full costume. A simple invitation 
to the Mamelukes in a mass, on any other occasion, would 
have been answered by the habitual oriental mistrust of 
such hospitality ; but, with a skill in the ways of evil 
worthy of a better cause, Mohammed Ali so managed 
that the obvious motive of the departure of an army, and 
the association of the Mamelukes with all the other 
authorities of the country, not only lulled their suspi- 
cions, but even flattered their self-love. 

On the 1st of March, 1811, all the principal men of 
Cairo flocked to the citadel. Shahin Bey appeared there 
at the head of his household, having come with the other 
beys to pay his respects to Mohammed Ali, who received 
them in the great hall. Coffee was then served, and a 
conversation took place. When all those who were to 
take part in the procession were assembled, the signal for 
departure was given, each person taking the place that 


was assigned him by the master of the ceremonies. A 
corps of delis, commanded by Oozoon AH, opened the 
march * then came the waly or municipal governor of 
Cairo, the aga of the janissaries, with Turkish troops ; 
then came the Albanians, especially devoted to Moham- 
med Ali, under the immediate command of Saleh Khosh. 
The regular troops came last, and the mamelukes had 
their place assigned between the infantry and cavalry at 
the rear, and the Albanians, who marched in front of 
them. The plateau of the citadel on which are situated 
the chief buildings is elevated high above the level of 
the city. Down on the lower level, and close to the 
public place of the Eoumeyleh, is the gate of Azab a 
picturesque object flanked with round towers, painted in 
stripes of red and white. Between the high courtyard 
and this gate is the old access to the plateau not the 
modern macadamized slope, but a steep winding passage 
with sharp angles, and cut in the rock. 

Down this road came the procession, and no sooner 
were the delis and agas out, than Saleh Khosh ordered 
the gates to be shut, and communicated the order he had 
received to exterminate the mamelukes to his Albanians, 
who immediately turned about, and, jumping aside, or 
leaping up the rock, began to fire on the horsemen. To 
charge down the steep rock was useless or impossible, for 
the gates were shut and exit barred ; and on the sloping 
or angular rocks the heavily mounted mamelukes, power- 
ful on the plains of Egypt, had no chance with Albanians 
whose home is only the mountain side. Behind the 
mamelukes were the infantry troops closing the proces- 
sion, whose advantage was still more decided ; for they 
poured volleys of musketry down on these, devoted men 
from the parapets above. 

The mamelukes now wished to return by another road 
into the citadel ; but not being able to manage their 


horses on account of the unfavorable ground, and seeing 
that many of their people were killed and wounded, they 
alighted, and abandoning their horses and upper clothes, 
remounted the road, sabre in hand, but were fired on 
from the windows of the citadel above. Shahin Bey fell 
pierced with balls before the gates of the palace of Sa- 
ladin. Suleyman Bey, another mameluke, ran half naked, 
and frightened, to implore the protection of the Harem 
of the Yiceroy, according to oriental usage, but in vain. 
He was conducted to the palace, where he was decapitated. 
Others went to beg for mercy from Toussoun Pasha, who 
took no part in the events of the day. 

The troops had orders to arrest the Mamelukes where- 
ever they might be found. Those taken were conducted 
to the Kiahia Bey, and instantaneously decapitated. 
Many persons not Mamelukes were also killed. The 
citadel flowed with blood, and the dead filled up the 
passages. The dead body of Shahin Bey was, with bar- 
barous stupidity, dragged about with a cord round the neck. 
On every side were seen horses, expensively caparisoned, 
stretched by the side of their masters, and the richest 
dresses saturated with blood for gold embroidery and 
the most costly cloth stuffs, with elaborately finished and 
decorated arms and caparisons, were what the Mame- 
lukes mostly delighted in ; and all these became the booty 
of the blood-thirsty soldiery. Of four hundred and sixty 
Mamelukes who had mounted that morning to the citadel, 
not one escaped. A few French Mamelukes, in the ser- 
vice of Mohammed Ali, who had remained behind after 
the departure of Menou, and had been locked up by the 
Kiahia Bey in a room adjoining his own, were saved. A 
bey of the house of Elfy had three French Mamelukes in 
his service, but they did not mount on horseback on that 

Amyn Bey, another Mameluke, was saved by accident. 


Being prevented by pressing business from arriving in 
time, he found himself outside the gate just as the head 
of the procession was issuing from under the arch. He 
waited a little until they were gone out, but seeing that 
the gate was suddenly closed, and then hearing the 
musketry, he put spurs to his horse, and never stopped 
until he found his way across the desert into Syria. 

Scarcely had the procession begun to move when Mo- 
hammed Ali showed signs of agitation, which increased 
when he heard the first discharge of musketry. He 
grew pale, fearing lest his orders might not have been 
properly executed, and that some struggle might ensue 
fatal to himself and his party. When he saw the pri- 
soners and the trunkless heads he grew calm. Soon after, 
his physician, a Genoese, entered, and said with the 
sickening gaiety of sycophancy, " The affair is over ; this 
is a fete for your Highness." To this Mohammed Ali 
gave no answer, and only asked for a draught to quench 
his thirst. 

Meanwhile the crowds of citizens in the town were 
waiting to see the procession, and expectation was suc- 
ceeded by surprise when only the Delis forming its head 
were seen to pass, followed by grooms hurrying away in 
silence. This sudden movement caused an agitation 
among the spectators, and then the cry having arisen, 
" Shahin Bey is killed," all the shops were shut, which 
was invariably the case when turbulence, bloodshed, and 
their concomitant, rapine, were apprehended. The streets 
became deserted, and only bands of lawless soldiery were 
seen, who rushed to pillage the houses of the Mame- 
lukes, violating their women, and committing every 

The Turks, who could only marry women of an inferior 
class, saw with displeasure that those of a higher rank, 
disdaining their alliance, displayed eagerness to marry 



'Mamelukes, and therefore took care to avenge them- 
selves. The houses of the beys were full of valuables. 
Several of these cavaliers were making preparations for 
marriage, decorating their apartments, and purchasing 
rich clothes, cashmeres, and jewels. Not only the houses 
of these persons were pillaged, but others besides. Cairo 
appeared like a place taken by assault, the inhabitants 
not shewing themselves in the streets, but awaiting in- 
doors what destiny had in store for them. 

The murder and pillage continuing on the following 
day, Mohammed Ali descended from the citadel to re- 
establish order and stop bloodshed. He was in full dress, 
and accompanied by a large armed force. At each police 
post he reprimanded the officer in charge for having per- 
mitted such disorders. Mohammed Ali himself had only 
taken the lives of the Mamelukes he had only mas- 
sacred a political party addicted to cashmeres, diamond- 
mounted pipes, and enamelled pistols, as well as to 
sharing the political power with the agents of the Porte. 
He himself had laid the axe to the very root of Mame- 
luke appropriation, and therefore all mangling of the 
branches excited his just reprobation as a superfluous 
expenditure of labour. Near Bab Zueileh the Pasha met 
a Mogrebbin, who complained of the pillage of his house, 
protesting that he was neither soldier nor Mameluke, on 
which Mohammed Ali stopped his horse, and sent an 
armed force, who arrested a Turk and a fellah, whose 
head they cut off. Advancing towards the quarter of 
Kakeen, he was informed that the sheikhs were assem- 
bled with the intention of complimenting him ; but the 
Pasha answered that he would himself go to receive their 
felicitations, on which he proceeded to the house of 
Sheikh Abdullah el Sherkawy, and after having passed 
an hour with him he returned to the citadel. 

The following day Toussoun Pasha went through the 


town, followed by a numerous guard, causing those who 
were found pillaging to be decapitated ; for more than 
five hundred houses had been sacked on this occasion. 
Meanwhile the Mamelukes were diligently sought after. 
Even the old ones, who in all the troubles had never 
quitted Cairo, were unmercifully killed. Many made 
their escape by changing their costume for that of Delis ; 
others escaped to Upper Egypt dressed as women. 

In the citadel, the dead bodies were thrown pell-mell 
into pits dug for them, the relations of the murdered 
being so overwhelmed as not to be able to bury them 
decently. The mother of the Emir Merzouk, son of 
Ibrahim Bey, was however allowed his dead body, which 
was found after two days' search. Protection was also 
given to the widows of the Mamelukes by Mohammed 
Ali, who allowed his own men to marry them. The 
secret of this sanguinary affair had been confided to only 
four persons, on whom the Pasha could rely ; but he had 
at the same time written, through his secretary, to the 
commanders of the different provinces ordering them to 
arrest and put to death all the Mamelukes they could lay 
their hands upon. This order was mercilessly executed, 
and their heads were sent to Cairo, and exposed there. 
Thus altogether more than a thousand persons perished, 
including twenty -three beys. 




SUCH was the bloody spectacle with which the still 
more sanguinary Wahaby war was inaugurated. But 
before we proceed to give an account of this protracted 
struggle, it is requisite to say something of the origin of 
a movement which from small beginnings grew to dimen- 
sions which endangered the traditional Islamism of Arabia, 
until stopped by the vigorous arm of Mohammed Ali. 

Mohammed Ezbor Abd-'el-Wahab, the author of the 
reform of the Wahabys, was born in the year 1696 ; and, 
destined by his father to the calling of an alim, was 
learned in the theology and jurisprudence of the Moslems. 
Having pursued his studies at Bussorah, he made a pil- 
grimage to Mecca and Medina ; and returned to his native 
village, where he became remarkable for such austere 
asceticism as obliged him to quit it for Derayeh, which 
was destined to become the capital of the sect of this 
fierce reformer, and in which place he had formed rela- 
tions with influential persons who concurred with him in 
his extreme and rigid system of social and religious 

It is not to be denied that the Moslems of later cen- 
turies had fallen from the primitive virtues of those who 
had spread the doctrines of Islam over half the old world. 


Inheriting the rich countries which their ancestors had 
wrested from the Greek Empire, and no longer stimu- 
lated to sacrifice or exertion by the contests with the 
Crusaders of Europe, the hardy virtues had become the 
exclusive appanage of those northern Moslem popula- 
tions who, settled on the banks of the Danube and on the 
heights overlooking the Adriatic, had to bear the brunt 
of resistance to the land forces of the Emperors of Ger- 
many, and the maritime strength of the Eepublic of 
Venice. All the Arab countries of the south were sunk 
in sloth and luxury, Arabia proper, from its torrid 
climate, its scanty endowment with the good things of 
this earth, and its nomad population inured to priva- 
tion, was the only exception. 

But even the scanty luxury of the settled parts of 
Arabia was in the eyes of the austere Abd-el-Wahab an 
offence in the sight of God, and a departure from the 
primitive ways of his people. In some respects he was 
the Protestant of Islamism. He stripped away the 
whole body of tradition that obscured and encumbered 
the simple original doctrines taught by Mohammed. 
But while doing this, he at the same time reprobated that 
homage to the memory of Mohammed which turned the 
Prophet into a demi-god, and idolatrously invested him 
with characteristics proper to the Supreme Being. 

The doctrine of the "Wahabys had therefore nothing of 
novelty in it, but was simply a return to the primitive 
usage of Islamism, the duties enforced being fasting, 
prayer, almsgiving, and the pilgrimage to Mecca. At 
the same time, there was the strict prohibition of stimu- 
lating liquors, excesses in carnal lusts, games of hazard, 
usury, false witness, the use of tobacco and other nar- 
cotics, the wearing of silk dresses by men, and the eleva- 
tion of pompous domes and mausoleums to dead men, 
which, becoming shrines, tended to idolatry. 


Such were the doctrines taught by Mohammed-Abd- 
el-Wahab with considerable eloquence and powers of 
persuasion, and enforced by the severe example of the 
preceptor. The ascendancy which this remarkable man 
thus acquired over those in his sphere was also enhanced 
by a circumstance of a temporary nature, without which 
the Wahabys could never have risen to the dominion 
of Arabia. Souhoud, the Sheikh of Derayeh, who pro- 
tected Abd-el-Wahab, was a man of military prowess 
and considerable ambition, who availed himself of the 
eloquence of the teacher, and the rapid progress of his 
doctrines, to extend his own temporal dominion ; and 
his son Abd-el-Aziz also being a daring and suc- 
cessful commander, the result was that, between the 
years 1746 and 1791 the period comprised in British 
history between the Scottish rebellion and the French 
revolution the whole of that large district called the 
Nejd was conquered by the Wahabys, village after 
village ; sometimes by stratagem and sometimes by 
direct attack, in the course of which they developed 
an art of warfare perfectly suited to the country, the 
climate, and the semi-barbarous organization of their 
opponents. Abd-el-Wahab himself lived to see the 
expanded power of his adherents ; having survived to 
the 14th of June, 1791, when he died at the advanced 
age of ninety-five, leaving eighteen children, the result 
of his twenty marriages. 

It may well be believed that the progress of these 
enthusiasts, on whom firm faith had conferred energy 
and success, was viewed with the utmost alarm at 
Mecca, that Vatican of Moslem tradition. The Shereef 
of that city, considered so holy by the Moslems, easily 
comprehended that the conquests of the Wahabys were 
not likely to be confined to the Nejd ; and that that dis- 
trict being entirely subdued, Yemen and Hedjaz were not 


likely to escape. The Shereef Ghaleb therefore, in 
1798, the year of the French expedition to Egypt, sent 
an army against the "Wahabys, which at first had some 
show of success ; but Kermelah, the Wahaby leader, 
although commanding a very inferior number of troops, 
knew how to deal with those of the Shereef. Before 
the decisive action he told his men not to give way nor 
retreat, whatever might happen. The Shereef of Mecca, 
assuming from the confidence of the attack made by 
Kermelah, that his force must be much larger than it 
really was, lost courage and made a disorderly retreat, 
which being followed up by the chastisement of some 
wavering tribes of Arabs, the Wahabys had nothing 
more to fear on the side of Mecca. It was therefore 
towards the head of the Persian Gulf that they now 
turned their arms ; but the Pasha of Bagdad, having 
assembled a large army and shown a bold front, peace 
was rapidly concluded. The governor of this important 
pashalic having, as usual, enough to do in assuring his 
own position at Bagdad, evinced no disposition to enter 
upon a campaign in the heart of Arabia. 

Far from this, without seeking any direct attack upon 
Bagdad, the younger Souhoud, with an army of twenty 
thousand men, moved upon Kerbelah, not far from the 
Euphrates, and near which is the tomb of Husseyn, 
the son of the Caliph AH, regarded by all the Shiite 
Moslems as a place of uncommon veneration. In fact 
it is a sort of Loretto of the Persians, and at this period 
was the depository of prodigious wealth, the offerings 
of the numerous pilgrims who annually flocked to this 
far-famed shrine. Here the Wahabys spared neither 
man, woman, nor children; the mausoleum was broken 
down, and the soldiery penetrated into the sanctuary. 
" Spare my life," said the warder, li and I will show 
you the hidden treasures ;" but an Arab, eager for 


carnage, pierced his side with a lance, and nothing of 
what was concealed was discovered. Nevertheless, great 
riches fell to the Wahaby commander sabres mounted 
with precious stones, a pearl the size of a pigeon's egg, 
vases and lamps of gold and silver, as well as other 
ornaments of precious stones and metals. In addition 
to this, Kerbelah was a place of great trade with Persia, 
and the plunder of the warehouses and private dwellings 
was immense, including four thousand Cashmere shawls, 
and a great deal of hard cash, mostly Dutch and Vene- 
tian ducats. 

In the following year (1802) the Wahaby s at length 
marched upon Mecca, and entered it without firing a 
shot. The Shereef Ghaleb, not judging it prudent to 
await his fate within its walls, had retired to Djeddah, 
whither Souhoud followed him ; but an epidemic having 
broken out in the army of the Wahaby s, they were 
compelled to retire, and Ghaleb re-entered Mecca. Nor 
did this reverse of the Wahabys come single. The 
pillage of Kerbelah and the desecration of the tombs 
of Fatimeh, the daughter of Mohammed, and of her 
grandson Husseyn, had created loudly expressed indig- 
nation through all Persia ; and this feeling found, as is 
usual in the East, an interpreter who gave effect to 
his fanatical feelings by assassination. Abd-el-Aziz, 
the son of the elder Souhoud, being occupied with 
his prayers in the mosque, the assassin entered, and, 
standing behind him, seemed engaged in prayer: but 
just as Abd-el-Aziz prostrated himself with his fore- 
head to the ground, the assassin, watching the oppor- 
tunity, plunged into the loin of the praying prince a 
dagger which he had hidden for the purpose; and 
before many hours Abd-el-Aziz, who had so often led the 
Wahabys to victory, was a corpse. The Persian assassin 
was massacred on the spot, his body burnt in the 


market place, and in his turban was found a note 
which ran thus : " Thy God and thy religion make it 
a duty to kill Abd-el-Aziz ; if thou escapest, great 
rewards will be thine ; but if thou fallest, paradise is 
open to thee." 

The younger Souhoud, the son of Abd-el-Aziz, and 
grandson of the elder Souhoud, now succeeded his 
father; and, in the year 1809, the Shereef Ghaleb, no 
longer able to maintain a struggle with the Wahabys, 
made his submission, and asked for the protection of 
Souhoud, who ordered him to send away the force of 
Turkish soldiers in his service. The Wahaby chief 
then proceeded with a large army to Mecca, and had 
a distinguished reception from the Shereef and his 
family, who even complimented him on the sacred 
mount of Arafat. At a subsequent visit the tomb of 
Mohammed at Medina was opened and despoiled of 
the treasures of ages accumulated there. In addition 
to this, the pilgrimage to the holy cities by the caravans 
of Syria and Africa was interrupted during several 
years. The Imams of Sanaa and Muscat submitted 
themselves to the son of Abd-el-Aziz ; and, at the 
period of the massacre of the Mamelukes, Souhoud was 
the virtual sovereign of the vast country stretching 
from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf, and from the 
Indian Ocean to the desert of Syria. To subdue* this 
real potentate was the enterprise upon which Mohammed 
Ali now entered, a task arduous in the extreme, and 
the successful issue of which, if less prominently before 
the European public than the conquest -of Syria, was 
inferior to nothing accomplished in other spheres of 
operations by Mohammed Ali and Ibrahim Pasha, in 
earning for them the reputation of military ability pre- 
eminent above that of all their native compeers in the 
warfare of the East. 




THE submission of Ghaleb, Shereef of Mecca, to the 
fierce reformers of Derayeh had been feigned, not real. 
The inhabitants of Mecca subsisted almost exclusively 
on the profits derived from the vast annual concourse 
of pilgrims to a city which, to the Moslem world, was 
associated with a sentiment of veneration, but the 
pilgrimage to which was to the people of Mecca them- 
selves the daily bread of the carnal body. Mohammed 
Ali therefore, before thus embarking his army, sent first 
an agent to communicate privily with Ghaleb, to sound 
his views, secure his assistance, and to pave the way 
generally for the success of the expedition, by the 
acquisition of such other information on the disposi- 
tions of the Arab tribes hostile to the Wahabys as 
would enable the force from Egypt to act with decisive 

The military and political fame of Mohammed Ali had 
already extended to Arabia ; and the Shereef Ghaleb, 
anxious for the re-establishment of the regular pilgrim- 
age which had filled his coffers, gave a cordial reception 
to all the plans and proposals of Mohammed Ali, and 
sent back his own confidential man to Cairo with the 
agent of the Pasha, to assure him of his support, as well 


as to aid him with his intelligence and local experience. 
Active preparations were therefore made, both in men and 
in money, to carry through the expedition ; and there 
can be no doubt that, although the Shereef Ghaleb was 
not himself a successful general, the information which 
he furnished was of great value in assuring the success 
of the intended operations. 

On the other hand, Souhoud was not idle. Spies 
which he kept in Cairo informed him of the preparations 
of the Pasha ; and an army of fifteen thousand men was 
collected without delay to combat the enemy. Eight 
thousand men disembarked from Suez at Janbo on the 
sea, situated to the north-west of Mecca, which serves 
as the port of Medina. Ghaleb had promised to Souhoud 
to defend Janbo with his own troops ; but, breaking his 
promise, both Janbo on the sea and Janbo inland fell at 
once into the power of the invading force. Flushed 
with this easy success, Toussoun Pasha, who commanded 
the expedition, advanced with the ardour of youth to the 
defiles of Safra. The Wahabys posted here advantage- 
ously, on rocks overlooking a narrow winding road, did 
not deter Toussoun from the attack. The first rush of 
the Turks drove the Wahabys before them, but advance 
only increased their difficulties. Every step was marked 
Avith blood ; and, the steep defiles aiding the defenders, 
the Turks halted, and, losing heart at the prospect of 
the insurmountable difficulties before them, suddenly 
gave way. The Arab blood now got up, and a pursuit 
utterly disastrous to the Turks took place. Prisoners, 
wounded horses, camels, and baggage were all abandoned 
in the disorderly flight ; and Toussoun Pasha igno- 
miniously regained Janbo inland, having lost nearly 
the half of his troops. 

Mohammed Ali, on the receipt of this intelligence, 
acted with exemplary severity and redoubled activity. 


Orders were transmitted to put to death the kiahya of 
Toussoun Pasha, who, losing heart, had been the first 
to retreat in the defiles of Safra. At the same time, 
extraordinary measures were resorted to in order to raise 
funds to equip the necessary reinforcements, and the 
property entailed for the benefit of mosques and other 
institutions was unceremoniously laid hands on, in spite 
of the complaints of the ulema, who, however, were not 
in a position to resist. The whole of the career of 
Mohammed Ali shows that Islamism sat very loosely 
on this bold captain ; and very little attention was paid 
to these complaints during his long career. But there 
were other parties in Cairo more difficult to deal with. 
The Albanian chiefs, Saleh Khosh and others, through 
whom he had risen to power, who were his instruments 
in the death-blow dealt to the Mamelukes, and who had 
returned to Cairo after the disastrous expedition to 
Arabia, were dissatisfied with the privations of an 
arduous campaign, and envious of the wealth and 
power which their former companion wielded in pomp 
and security within the walls of the luxurious capital 
of Egypt- Arrested in their houses, and surrounded 
with troops, they were completely in the power of 
the now autocratic Pasha; who, however, spared their 
lives, and even allowed them their property and arrears 
of pay, on condition of their leaving the country. 

The new campaign in Arabia was attended with more 
success. Toussoun Pasha, having received reinforce- 
ments, renewed his artillery; and, obeying orders, de- 
capitated the kiahya, as a formidable example to the 
captains under his orders, He advanced boldly to 
Medina, having previously secured the friendship of the 
Arabs on his way ; and, the artillery being put on the 
breaching batteries, the fire commenced. The inhabitants 
of Medina were favourable to his enterprise, their in- 


terests being associated with those of the Shereef and 
the renewal of the pilgrimage, and opposed to those of 
the Wahaby garrison, those fanatical roundheads of Mos- 
lem puritanism. Toussoun Pasha, having laid his mines, 
communicated with the inhabitants, so that in the en- 
suing assault they might be distinguished and spared by 
his soldiers. On the following day, the mine having 
blown up, a part of the wall fell, and the Turks rushed 
in, massacring a portion of the garrison, upon which the 
rest shut themselves up in the citadel, but were allowed 
to capitulate. 

This was the first decisive blow that had been struck 
against the great Wahaby power that had extended so 
far and so wide. The value of the success did not so 
much consist in the capture of a town, as in the libera- 
tion of the last resting-place of the Prophet from sacri- 
legious hands, with all its moral influence upon a nation 
in whose minds the formalism of Islam, as contrasted with 
its primary spirit, had taken the deepest root. The effects 
of this stroke were forthwith felt throughout the rest of the 
Hedjaz. Grhaleb, who awaited at Jeddah with trembling 
anxiety the result of the expedition, received Toussoun 
with joy and gratitude as a God-sent deliverer. Mecca 
was abandoned by the Wahabys, mistrustful of its popu- 
lation, and now compelled to concentrate their forces, 
so that this chief sanctuary of the Moslem nations was 
entered by Toussoun without firing a shot. 

The pride and joy of Mohammed Ali at the intelli- 
gence of these successes may easily be imagined. If his 
paternal affection was gratified, his ambition was also in- 
flamed by an accession of power, and his self-love tickled 
by additional claims on the favour of the Porte, of which 
the keys of Medina, transmitted to Constantinople, were a 
striking external symbol. Nor was the palace of the 
Sultan without the usual trunkless heads of dusky tinted 


Wahabys, to enforce the oft-repeated lesson of what 
awaited those who were disobedient to the temporal 
and spiritual power of the Sultan and Caliph. The fate 
of one of those Wahaby chiefs reminds us forcibly of 
the cat playing with the mouse within its fangs. Ma- 
dayfy, carried prisoner into Egypt, had his fetters taken 
off before he entered Cairo ; he was then conducted in a 
sort of pomp to the citadel, a spectacle to the citizens 
who lined the streets, after which the kiahya invited 
him to dinner and lodged him well for four days. He 
was then embarked in chains for Constantinople, and 
beheaded on his arrival there. 

It was now high time for Souhoud to act with vigour. 
In midsummer 1813 the heats were oppressive, and 
therefore the season was arrived when the acclimated 
Arab had a great advantage over the Turk, to whom 
the climate of even Egypt was sufficiently severe, and 
that of Arabia positively oppressive. But Toussoun, 
gay and flushed with victory, was eager to follow up his 
advantage. He therefore directed his lieutenant, Mus- 
tapha Bey, to advance with a force upon Tarabay, a 
considerable place to the eastward of Mecca, surrounded 
with date plantations in a plain intersected with ditches. 
Here the leader of the Wahabys was a woman of amazo- 
nian courage and authority Ghalyeh, the wife of the 
Sheikh of Sobeih. The result of a hot engagement was a 
complete victory on the part of the Wahabys, and the dis- 
astrous retreat of Mustapha Bey upon Tayf, aggravated 
by the horrors of thirst and privation under a broiling 
sun, which destroyed a great many men and beasts of 
burthen. At the same time, the Wahabys, again taking 
courage, menaced Medina, while the communications 
could be kept up only with great difficulty. 

On the receipt of this intelligence, Mohammed Ali 
promptly determined to repair the evil by his personal 


presence in Arabia ; for, with the Mamelukes destroyed 
and the Albanians dismissed from Egypt, his presence 
could now be spared from the seat of government. !Nor 
had he anything to fear from the Porte, to which he was 
not yet an object of suspicious apprehension, but the 
lever of its hopes for the re-elevation of the power of 
the Ottoman Caliphate in the original seat of Islamism. 

On the 28th of August, 1813, Mohammed Ali dis- 
embarked at Jeddah, the port of Hedjaz, where he was 
received with great honours by his son and the Shereef 
Ghaleb. He then proceeded to Mecca, where he per- 
formed all the acts of pilgrimage, and conversed fre- 
quently with the learned men established there. Mecca 
is not only a place of religion, but, in pacific times, a fair 
for commerce, and a place for the intercommunication of 
knowledge from the remotest parts inhabited by Moslems, 
the negro of Central Africa, the Chinese from the Yel- 
low Sea, the Agha from the highlands of Croatia, and 
the Tartar from the steppes of the Ural or the Caspian. 
Here at Mecca, as well as at Jeddah, Mohammed Ali re- 
ceived every honour from the Shereef Ghaleb ; but, not- 
withstanding these reciprocal civilities, Mohammed Ali, 
digesting the information he received on all hands, came 
to the conclusion that Ghaleb had neither sufficient zeal 
nor ability to prosecute the war. He therefore resolved 
to depose him, which change was accomplished without 
bloodshed, but still in a manner truly oriental, and foreign 
to the usages of the European nations. 

The arrival of Toussoun Pasha in Mecca was the occa- 
sion selected for this stroke of policy. Mohammed Ali, 
knowing that the Shereef would go and pay his respects 
to Toussoun, gave his son directions how to proceed with 
the deposition. After pipes and coffee, during which 
the Shereef conversed with Toussoun in presence of their 
numerous suites, that of Toussoun retired, on a signal, as 


if to leave the two grandees in confidential communica- 
tion; and, observing this, the attendants of the Shereef 
also quitted the apartment. But the Pasha and his 
guest did not remain long alone ; for a door was opened 
from another apartment in which soldiers had been con- 
cealed, and out stepped Abdeen Bey, who politely asked 
the thunderstruck Shereef for his dagger, which he at 
once yielded up. To gild the pill, Toussoun informed 
him that the act did not originate with Mohammed Ali, 
but was the execution of an imperial mandate, and that 
the advocacy of the Pasha of Egypt might be counted 
on in his favour. Mohammed Ali himself sent imme- 
diately afterwards to confirm this view of the arrest, 
and enjoining him to write to his family and kindred 
not to hazard a rising in his favour, with which recom- 
mendation Ghaleb unhesitatingly complied. The sons 
of the Shereef, on their way to offer their submission to 
the Pasha, were also seized and imprisoned, but treated 
with the greatest civility. Meanwhile, the house of 
the Shereef was taken possession of, and his treasures, 
amounting to nearly fifty thousand pounds sterling, 
appropriated. The Porte subsequently ordered some 
restitution of his wealth to be made to him. He and 
his family were then removed, first to Cairo, and then 
to Salonika, where he lived only four years ; disappoint- 
ment, and a climate so different from that of his native 
land, having brought him to a premature end. Nor was 
the Wahaby camp without a change : shortly after the 
arrest and fall of Ghaleb, Souhoud, now an old man of 
sixty-eight, died at Derayeh, on the 17th of April, 1814; 
and with him lapsed the power and vigour of Wahaby 
warfare into the less able and efficacious hands of his son. 
To this change of commanders must be attributed the 
speedy change of fortune on tne part of the rivals for 
the possession of Arabia. The courage, the perseverance, 


and the momentum of authority, which had hitherto 
been on the side of the Wahabys, were now to be found 
in the counsels and actions of the Turkish commander. 
The place of Souhoud was occupied by his son Abdallah; 
but his warlike qualities and influence were not inherited 
by this the last tenant of the virtual sovereignty of 
which Derayeh was the capital. In the first serious 
engagement, which took place on the 10th of January, 
1815, Mohammed Ali defeated a force of twenty thou- 
sand Wahabys under the immediate command of Faycal, 
another son of Souhoud ; after which Toussoun Pasha 
pushed his advances into the Nejd, but wanting provi- 
sions and stores, was fain to come to an accommodation, 
without venturing to follow up his successes to Derayeh. 
Events in Europe now determined Mohammed Ali to 
return to Egypt ; for, if the Wahabys were not annihi- 
lated, the holy cities had been freed from their presence, 
the pilgrimage to Mecca was re-established, and the power 
of the reformers was confined to the Hedjaz. In addi- 
tion to this, the return of Bonaparte from Elba to 
France threw for a time a dark cloud on the prospects 
of Europe, and consequently of the Ottoman Empire, 
with which the politics of Europe had become more 
and more closely interwoven. It was after his arrival 
at Cairo, which took place on the 18th of June, 1815, 
the very day of the final extinction of the power of 
Bonaparte, that Mohammed Ali, now convinced of the 
vast superiority of the European system of warfare over 
that of the Orientals, resolved to introduce into Egypt 
the modern tactics. Long after feudalism had ceased 
in Europe it continued in the Ottoman Empire, and it 
is scarcely yet entirely extirpated from this vast agglo- 
meration of nations and provinces. Up to the 17th 
century the kings of Europe called together their mailed 
barons when war was projected. Then began the great 


revolutions, which ended by establishing large standing 
armies directly officered by the nominees of the king ; 
and the lapse into desuetude of military service in return 
for land, either freehold or copyhold. It was more espe- 
cially during the age of Louis XIV., under the Turennes, 
Vaubans, Cohorns, Eugenes, and Marlboroughs, that the 
modern system of warfare was developed. But no 
analogous change took place in the armies of the 
Ottoman Empire. The Khan of the Crimea and the here- 
ditary Beys of Bosnia and Asia Minor continued, as of 
old, to lead their men to do battle for the sovereign on 
the banks of the Danube ; but as brave vassals, not as 
commanders trained by science to the system of modern 
warfare. Now and then a French or German renegade 
was to be found in the corps of artillery or engineers ; 
but this was the rare exception, not the rule. Sultan 
Selim had in the beginning of this present century made 
some feeble attempts to impart a European organization 
to several regiments ; but turbulence and barbarous 
fanaticism was an invincible obstacle to the introduction 
of a scheme of exercise associated with infidel Frankdom. 
The intelligent and observant Mohammed Ali was 
fully impressed with the vast superiority of the Euro- 
pean art of war. An eager auditor of the translations 
of the European newspapers, which for years had been 
filled with the story of the marvellous successes and 
reverses of Napoleon Bonaparte, there can be little 
doubt that he looked forward to the scientific organiza- 
tion of the troops of Egypt as a means, if not of securing 
independence at that early stage, at least of prolonging 
the tenure of a power which was a virtual sovereignty ; 
while that very abasement of the power of the Mame- 
lukes by which the authority of the Porte had been re- 
established, gave him elbow-room for carrying out 
schemes of armament, which at no distant day were 


to produce at Constantinople sentiments of apprehension 
and exasperation which had been unknown even in the 
palmiest days of Mameluke rule. 

But however favoured by such circumstances, the old 
spirit of the military corporations of Turkey was averse 
from the innovation, and unprepared for the introduction, 
of Frank tactics, by the mere fiat of a man in advance 
of his contemporaries, even although wielding the power 
of Pasha of Egypt. On the 2nd of August Mohammed 
Ali went to Boulak to exercise the soldiers of his son 
Samad ;. and, having put them through several exercises, 
he declared that he intended henceforth to adopt European 
tactics, and that whoever opposed or resisted should be 
severely punished. 

Murmurs of dissatisfaction and expressions of in- 
dignant surprise were manifested by the malcontents, 
who immediately resolved to get quit of the Pasha ; but, 
through a fortunate circumstance, the conspiracy failed. 
A certain Abdeen Bey, having given a dinner or festival, 
was made a confidant of the intention to surprise the 
Pasha before day-break in his palace ; and he, without 
attempting to dissuade them, and even promising to join 
them, went out privately, and, mounting an ass, pro- 
ceeded straight to Mohammed Ali, whom he informed 
of what was intended, after which he returned home and 
rejoined the conspirators. The Pasha, on receipt of this 
intelligence, went from his palace on the Ezbekieh to the 
citadel, which he entered on the side of mount Mokattam ; 
and, being supported by a considerable force on which 
he could depend, he caused the gates to be shut. 

The chief conspirators, baulked of their object, did 
not dare avow themselves; but their disorderly mob of 
adherents broke loose upon the town, plundering many 
houses, and the Humzawy cloth bazaar kept by Levan- 
tine rayahs. The damage done was made good by 


Mohammed Ali, and the revolt having spent its fury 
without its object being attained, the authority of the 
Pasha was again felt. Abdeen Bey received a large sum 
in recompense of his invaluable service, while the heads 
of the conspiracy, whom Mohammed Ali might have 
visited with exemplary severity, were left unmolested 
a proof of that rare command of temper which Moham- 
med Ali frequently exhibited on the most trying occasions 
throughout his career. 

The news of these events being spread with vague 
exaggeration through the Hedjaz, filled the mind of 
Toussoun with apprehension ; and he resolved to return 
immediately to Cairo, having previously caused salutes 
of artillery to be fired, expressive of the falseness of the 
report that had been spread, and of the satisfaction he 
experienced at the prosperous aspect of his father's 
affairs. Toussoun, who was received with great honours 
on his arrival at Cairo after his second and more success- 
ful campaign in Arabia, proceeded from thence to Alex- 
andria, where his father was residing, and where he saw 
for the first time his infant son, Abbas, born during his 
absence, and destined to be the Pasha of Egypt in the 
middle of the nineteenth century. Having furnished an 
heir to the fortunes of his house, Toussoun himself was 
not destined to be a witness of the later and more 
chequered career of his remarkable father, or to form a 
link between the sway of Mohammed Ali, and that of his 

Toussoun Pasha, on his return, led a life totally oppo- 
site to that which he had been compelled to live in Arabia. 
There owing to the exercise, the occupation of mind 
and body, during an arduous campaign, and in a climate 
where all nature forbids indulgence to the rational being 
as peremptorily as the written injunctions of Mo- 
hammed the health of Toussoun was excellent ; but, on 


his return to the banks of the Nile, he substituted the 
excitements of the voluptuary for those of the warrior. 
On the day after the arrival from Constantinople of a 
Georgian slave of exquisite beauty, his nervous system 
being unstrung, he was seized with severe headaches, 
followed by cold perspiration, which carried him off in a 
few hours. 

Mohammed Ali was on the western bank of the Nile, 
at the foot of the Pyramids, when his officers first re- 
ceived the intelligence of the death of his favourite son, 
a disaster that seems to have made a deeper impression 
upon his mind than any other domestic affliction ; for 
Toussoun, voluptuary as he was, had far more of that 
spontaneous kindness which begets affection than the 
iron-natured Ibrahim. His officers, all of whom were 
sincerely attached to the Pasha (for no man ever re- 
quited more cordially the service rendered him), did not 
dare to inform him at once of an event which was sure to 
affect him profoundly. Such is the prejudice of Eastern 
usage, that the repugnance to be the bearer of painful 
intelligence, or the eagerness to announce a happy event, 
is carried far beyond those limits which are usual in the 
political society of Europe. On this occasion, Mohammed 
Ali was informed that Toussoun had arrived ill, and im- 
mediately prepared to go and see him ; but the body had 
already been removed, and his kiahya had no resource 
but to break to him the sorrowful intelligence. 

" Say no more," said Mohammed Ali, with a wave of 
his hand : his countenance fell, and, as if conscious that 
all efforts to compose himself were utterly useless, he 
threw himself on the ground, surrendered himself to a 
paroxysm of grief, and for three days maintained an 
almost dead silence. 

To the south of Cairo, between the palm-clad banks of 
the Nile and the sterile precipitous heights of Mount 


Mokattam, is a region of suburbs and tombs, where, here 
and there, the fretted cupola of Saracenic architecture is 
seen crumbling to its kindred desert. Here is the last 
resting-place of the Imam Shafei, that great doctor of 
Islamism whose interpretation of the Koran is adopted 
throughout all Egypt and Syria.* To this spot the body 
of Toussoun was followed by his sorrowing father on 
foot, and there, in a receptacle prepared for the purpose, 
the bones of the rest of the family of Mohammed Ali are 
also preserved. 

Although Toussoun Pasha, in leaving Arabia, had come 
to a compromise, which left the Wahabys in possession 
of their capital Derayeh, and of a considerable part of the 
north-east of Arabia, yet it was no part of the intention 
of Mohammed Ali to relax his efforts until they were 
entirely subdued. He therefore peremptorily ordered 
Abdallah, the son of Souhoud, to proceed to Constanti- 
nople, and at the same time to restore the treasures 
which his father had found in the tomb of the Prophet 
at Medina and elsewhere. On this the "Wahaby chief 
answered that those treasures had been dissipated in his 
father's time, and implored Mohammed Ali not to insist 
upon the journey to Constantinople, offering to pay any 
reasonable tribute, and to submit to the authority of the 
Porte. This letter was accompanied by presents, which 
Mohammed Ali sent back, with the expression of his 
serious displeasure at the disobedience of his orders ; 
for it was not tribute or a declaration of submission that 
Mohammed Ali aimed at, but the extinction of the once 
formidable political and military power of the Wahabys. 
Their chief was at no loss to comprehend this, and hot 
war now recommenced between him and the Pasha. 

Toussoun being now no more, it was to Ibrahim Pasha 

* Except in the town of Nablouse, where, as at Bagdad, the rite of Harabaleh is 


that the command of the expedition was entrusted ; and 
in the course of it he first showed that eminent natural 
capacity as an Oriental general, which at a subsequent 
period attracted the attention of Europe. This prince, 
endowed with a robust frame which was not until long 
afterwards weakened by excesses, was a daring and fear- 
less soldier, even far beyond the average of a nation 
naturally brave. Utterly wanting in knowledge of 
European strategy, he nevertheless possessed a strong 
masculine judgment and an intelligence in military 
matters that placed him far above his compeers, who 
were ignorant of mathematical science and of the tactics 
of Europe. He had neither the political acuteness of 
Mohammed Ali, nor that suavity of manner which his 
father possessed in so eminent a degree as sometimes to 
enchant his friends and adherents, while it often served to 
neutralize the hostile and attract the indifferent. His 
temper was irritable and even ferocious, so that he would 
be for days, to his own people, as unapproachable as a 
tiger in his lair. On the other hand, his nature was 
more truthful than that of Mohammed Ali. He was not 
addicted to finesse, and, in fact, despised it : he indulged 
in no far-stretching schemes for the future, but exercised 
a vigorous and masculine judgment on what was laid 
before him. Although stern, severe, and sometimes even 
cruel, he was perfectly methodical in business ; and con- 
sequently possessed to a considerable extent the virtue 
of justice, which is a most essential element of dispatch, 
and the quickest closer of complicated transactions. If 
the generosity of Mohammed Ali created and sustained 
the attachment of adherents, his disorderly prodigality 
brought him into frequent difficulties. But it was not 
so with Ibrahim Pasha. His lever was fear not attach- 
ment : he was accumulative for the public treasury and 
the privy purse, and a stranger to munificence ; and it is 


not to be disputed that one of the principal causes of the 
trouble which the affairs of Syria gave to the Porte, and 
to the powers of Europe, was the strict economy and 
vigilant supervision which Ibrahim Pasha practised in 
the State and in the army. 

In September, 1816, Ibrahim Pasha left Cairo for 
Arabia ; but, instead of proceeding to Suez with his force, 
he ascended the Nile in boats to Kench, near Thebes ; 
and then, taking with him his artillery and baggage, 
which were transported on the backs of six thousand 
camels collected for the purpose, he proceeded across the 
desert to Cosseir on the Eed Sea, and from thence in a 
fleet of boats and barks that had been provided, crossed 
over to Sanbo, the port of Medina, from thence imme- 
diately proceeding to the Holy City itself. But he did 
not at once enter into action, the plan of Mohammed 
Ali, which Ibrahim was instructed to carry out, being to 
await the union and concentration of the means of attack, 
and then suddenly to act with decisive vigour. 

This plan was successful. The wavering chiefs of the 
Arab tribes, scattered over the eastern parts of the 
Hedjaz and the west of the Nejd, at once saw that 
they had to deal with a man of resolution and energy, 
who not only had with him large military resources, but 
who in his first forays had brought in large numbers of 
camels and cattle. The immediate result of the vigour 
of Ibrahim Pasha was the defection of several important 
tribes hitherto entirely in the interest of the Wahabys. 
But the smallest towns were defended with vigour, and 
at Derayeh the Wahabys made a final stand with all the 
resources that remained to them in men and materiel. 
The reduction of this place was the most arduous under- 
taking of the campaign. 

This capital of a warlike and primitive race of Arabs 
was such a town as might be seen in various parts of the 


Peninsula at the period when Mohammed gave forth those 
doctrines to the simplicity of which the Wahabys wished 
to return. The pompous fanes of Cairo and Granada 
found no counterpart in the homely Arab Nejd. Several 
straggling little towns on the slopes of hills, each sur- 
rounded by its wall and bastion, with a few of the 
simplest mosques, composed the capital of the Wahabys. 
With a force of less than six thousand men, and a dozen 
pieces of artillery, Ibrahim Pasha sat down before the 
place on the 6th of April. Assuredly it was not the 
masses of combatants that constituted the interest of the 
final struggle of the puritans of Islamisin. 

But it was soon seen that the contact of the Turks 
with the European art of war gave them a preponderating 
advantage over their opponents behind walls. Although 
the bastion was a Turkish invention, and had first been 
constructed at Otranto when there were hopes and fears 
of Italy sharing the fate of the Greek empire, yet there 
had been in the Turkish art of war, all through the 
eighteenth century, a notable absence of the rapid progress 
in artillery and engineering which had taken place in 
the armies of Europe ; and it was the quick and unscru- 
pulous appropriation of those European advances in pro- 
jectiles and drill that really furnished the family of 
Mohammed Ali with the means of first putting down the 
resistance of the Oriental forces in their immediate 
vicinity, and subsequently of creating that power which 
was turned against the Porte itself. 

The Wahabys saw with astonishment the solid curtain 
and bastion of the detached fort crumble to the dust 
under the well-directed fire of Ibrahim Pasha's artillery. 
A panic seized them, and they evacuated the place, leav- 
ing behind them their wounded, their ammunition, and 
their provisions. While the Turks posted to intercept 
their retreat pursued them into the gardens of the cen- 


tral town, many prisoners were taken, whose heads were 
cut off, the treasurer of Ibrahim Pasha paying for every 
pair of ears brought in to him, in accordance with the 
old Turkish practice. The Turks, following up this advan- 
tage, took possession of another height on which were 
posted two pieces of artillery that gave them much 
trouble. Ibrahim Pasha thus infused into his troops 
that confidence of final victory which is half the battle. 
No sooner was this advantage gained, than fortune still 
further favoured the besiegers by the arrival of caravans 
with gun carriages, ammunition, medicines, and an abun- 
dance of provisions of various descriptions to sustain both 
the moral and physical energy of the soldiers. 

On the other hand, the besieged were fortified with 
the courage of despair. They declared to each other, 
and believed, that surrender would not be followed by 
quarter that the male inhabitants would be put to the 
sword, and the women and valuables would become the 
property of the ruthless victor. New entrenchments, not 
directed by science but executed with prodigious ac- 
tivity, were carried out by the defenders, and vigorous 
sorties kept the besiegers on the alert, while the large 
extent of ground covered by the scattered capital ren- 
dered the strict blockade of the place impossible, so that 
provisions and supplies from without were from time to 
time furnished. Nor was the diminution of Turkish life, 
by the unceasing Wahaby musketry, steadily aimed from 
the walls at every head that appeared above the trenches, 
an inconsiderable offset to the decided advantage that 
Ibrahim Pasha had in artillery served by European 
officers, and hospitals tended by European medical science. 
The climate also came in for its share as an active force 
in the struggle. The heat, dysentery, and ophthalmia, 
which had but a very slight effect on the besieged, 
carried its ravages into the Turkish camp. Ibrahim 


Pasha himself had an attack of opthalmia, which blinded 
him for several days ; and two months of suffering were 
spent before this last stronghold of the Wahabys, with- 
out any prospect of success being obtained. Another 
bastion was successfully breached by the European 
artillery officers ; and Ibrahim Pasha, impatient of delay, 
and eager to make a decided impression on the scattered 
scheme of Wahaby defence, ordered his men to mount the 
breach. To his surprise and disappointment, murmurs, 
succeeded by a mutinous refusal to march, showed the 
stubborn commander how suffering and despair had torn 
loose all the bonds of discipline ; and, as misfortunes 
never come single, a frightful accident seemed to inter- 
pose a final obstacle to perseverance in the siege. 

On the 21st of June, one of those whirlwinds that 
suddenly rise in Arabia blew some sparks from a camp 
kitchen fire to a large tent which was the powder and 
ammunition magazine. In a moment several hundred 
packages of powder and cartridges flew into the air, with 
a prodigious explosion that shook the very hills, and 
scattered burnt and blackened human limbs around. It 
was at this juncture that Ibrahim Pasha showed an 
indomitable firmness and courage that rose to heroism. 
" All is lost," said Ibrahim to the messenger of Ouzoun 
Ali, his lieutenant, " except our courage and our sabres : 
tell your master to be on the alert to repel attack, and I 
will do the same." Without a day's delay, Ibrahim sent 
off messengers to all the posts in his rear for supplies of 
powder and ammunition, to make up the losses incurred ; 
and, foreseeing that this crisis would infallibly embolden 
the Wahabys to attempt sorties, he addressed his troops 
and stimulated them to fresh efforts. His harangues 
had all the more effect as coming from a commander 
who was reserved, rather than given to an expansive 


These presumptions were fully confirmed by the con- 
duct of the Wahaby chief. Although not endowed with 
much military talent, the opportunity of striking a suc- 
cessful blow on the besieged was too obvious not to be 
seized by Abdallah Ebn Souhoud, who, although from 
his avarice and lack of genius enjoying little of the 
popularity of his father and grandfather, yet was not 
devoid of personal courage. Accordingly, a party of 
fifteen hundred Wahaby s broke out upon Ibrahim, who 
gave orders to his people steadily to retire in the direc- 
tion of an eminence, where three pieces still stood with 
a sufficiency of ammunition. Incautiously following up 
what appeared to be an advantage, the Wahabys sud- 
denly found themselves in the midst of showers of grape- 
shot, which laid low numbers; and, seized with panic, 
they retreated as suddenly as they had advanced. Ab- 
dallah, learning that Ibrahim Pasha was absent from the 
camp to chastise some villages that supplied the Wahabys 
with provisions, made another desperate sortie in the 
intense heat of an Arabian midsummer, the women 
braving the balls that whistled about their ears, in order 
to carry jars of water to cool the lips of their husbands 
and brothers in the ardour of combat. But the Turks, 
living in the midst of death, repelled the attack with 
collected resolution. 

Again the tide turned, and while the Wahabys were 
astonished rather than dismayed at the failure of their 
efforts, supplies of men, ammunition, and provisions, 
began gradually to revive the courage of the Turks ; and 
the resources left scattered in his rear, to occupy various 
parts, being now united at Derayeh, Ibrahim, without 
waiting for the succours sent by Mohammed Ali, re- 
solved to make a final assault with all his strength. 
Ordering the artillery to batter uninterruptedly, he at 
the same time directed the riflemen in the advanced 


trenches to aim at the embrasures, and pick off the 
people within the walls. After dark, leaving in the 
trenches only the men necessary for their defence, he 
ordered his troops forward, posting cavalry in ambuscade 
to repel a sortie. At several points, the Wahabys, being 
prepared for an assault, resisted manfully ; but a body 
of eight hundred infantry penetrating into gardens 
where they were not expected, the Wahabys were over- 
powered, and a redoubt defended by artillery was cap- 
tured. The successful repulse of the Wahabys by the 
cavalry, and the discouragement produced by the loss of 
one of their leaders the brother-in-law of Abdallah, 
whose right foot was carried away now effectually 
turned the scale in favour of Ibrahim. 

A fort commanded by Saad, the son of the Wahaby 
chief, was held by one hundred and fifty men; and, 
although they had a large store of ammunition and artil- 
lery, they had provisions for only two days, under the 
supposition that they were so far within the circle of 
defence as not to be exposed to the Turks. These men, 
being compelled to capitulate, Ibrahim Pasha was able 
to attack the inner towns of Sahal and Gharybeh, which 
were not citadels with garrisons, but inhabited by fami- 
lies. The horrors of the siege, which had hitherto been 
at a distance from the women and children of the 
besieged Wahabys, were now felt in all their fulness. 
Showers of shells crumbled to pieces the dwellings of the 
families of these brave men ; and it was amidst the cries 
of terror-stricken women and children that these two 
towns capitulated. Tourfieh followed ; and, inclosed on 
all sides in his residence at Toureyf with his family and 
four hundred black slaves, Abdallah was at length, on 
the 9th of September, after a bloody five months' siege, 
compelled to ask for a suspension of arms. 

The Wahaby chief, accompanied by two hundred of 


his people, went to the tent of Ibrahim, and was well 
received by him. Abdallah, according to Oriental usage, 
wished to kiss the hand of the Pasha, who, however, 
withdrew it ; during five months of dogged resolution 
he had sought victory, not the humiliation of a chief 
respectable for his valour. 

"The war has ended," said Abdallah; "such are the 
decrees of fate." 

"If you wish to hold out, I will supply you with 
powder and ammunition," said Ibrahim, with a politeness 
in which the courtesy of chivalry was too largely alloyed 
with contempt. 

" No," said Abdallah, scarcely restraining his tears, 
" God has willed my humiliation." 

Abdallah asked for peace ; but Ibrahim informed him 
that he was not allowed to leave him at Derayeh, his 
orders being peremptory on that point. On this Abdallah 
asked for twenty-four hours to consult, and took his 
leave. Ibrahim, however, ordered patrols of cavalry to 
be on the outlook lest he should attempt to escape. 
There can be no doubt that Abdallah, if mounted on a 
swift dromedary, had a great chance of getting clear off : 
but his numerous family, his friends, and his capital, 
were all hostages to Ibrahim; and, fearing lest they 
might suffer by his flight, he again returned to the 
Turkish camp, recommending his family to the protec- 
tion of Ibrahim, and imploring him to do no damage to 
Derayeh. Promises to this effect were made, and Ab- 
dallah, guarded by four hundred horsemen, commenced 
his journey for Cairo, where he arrived on the 17th of 
November, 1818. 

He was admitted to kiss the hand of Mohammed Ali, 
who, admiring the courage of the Wahabys, received 
him with honour, and asked him what he thought of his 
son Ibrahim. " He has done his duty," said Abdallah, 


" and we have done ours. Thus has God willed." On 
the 19th he started for Constantinople, where, notwith- 
standing his surrender at Derayeh, and the intercession 
made by Mohammed Ali for his life, he was during three 
days shewn through the town, and then decapitated with 
his companions. 

The gloom and terror that the news of the death of 
Abdallah spread over the unhappy Derayeh was but too 
soon succeeded by the desolation of this devoted city. 
The valour of its defenders, the natural and artificial 
strength of its position, the climate fatal to the invader, 
and its remoteness from the accessible Turkish resources, 
all conspired to make the Ottoman commander leave 
behind no such fastness that might endanger a com- 
mencement of any future revolt of the puritans of 
Islamism. In a few brief weeks the melancholy cry of 
the jackal was heard amid the scenes that lately echoed 
the hum of a patriarchal Arab capital. Voluntarily the 
people of Derayeh levelled their walls with the ground 
to appease the victor. But the root as well as the 
branch of Derayeh was doomed. The date trees, those 
many-gifted providers of the nourishment, necessaries, 
and luxuries of the Arabs, were cut down. Without a 
metaphor, the axe was laid to the root of the subsistence 
of Derayeh; while, within the towns, house after house 
was burnt down, with the express intention of utterly 
annihilating the place as a residence, and compelling all 
the inhabitants to seek other abodes. 





IF we survey the globe, there is no part of it so 
thoroughly unknown as that vast Alpine region of 
eastern central Africa, in which both the White Nile 
and the Niger take their origin. From the vast volumes 
of water poured into the Atlantic and the Mediterra- 
nean, and from the elevation of the nearer mountains 
and plateaux already ascertained, it may fairly be pre- 
sumed that the central peaks rise to heights which rival 
the great chains of other continents ; but the Humboldts 
of the African Andes have still to appear. The blue 
river supposed by Bruce to be the great Nile, turns out 
to be only a brief tributary of this lengthened stream. 
The true source of the Nile, its situation, its physical 
region, and human inhabitants are still the great 
mystery of African geography. Abyssinia, forming the 
easterly termination of this mountain region before its 
rapid descent to the Eed Sea, is inhabited by a Caucasian 
race, and has much of the temperature of an European 
climate : but further to the north, and remoter from the 
equator, latitude is more than compensated by the 
cessation of the highlands ; for from the entrance of the 
Nile into the more level country we find the torrid heat 
and vegetable productions of the tropics, while, instead 
of the tawny high-featured Ethiopian and Caraite Jew of 


Abyssinia, we have the pitch black negro of Senaar 
and Cordofan. 

It was to these regions of the Upper Nile that the 
Pasha, Mohammed Ali, turned his attention after the fall 
of Derayeh. If the conquest of the Wahabys added to his 
renown, it exhausted the resources of Egypt. Arabia, 
if difficult to obtain from the valour of its inhabitants, 
was equally disadvantageous to retain, owing to its scanty 
and dispersed material advantages, as well as the con- 
stant liability to rebellion. In the countries beyond 
Nubia the inhabitants were unskilled in war. Its 
resources were abundant, valuable, and approximated 
to the great and accessible highway of the Nile. The 
climate alone was the worst enemy of the white man. 
In the time of the Mameluke Sultans, and before the 
development of the passage by the Cape, Cairo was, 
through Venetian instrumentality, one of the great 
magazines of the Indian trade. This, however, had 
passed away, and it was on the gums, the gold-dust, 
the ostrich feathers, and other productions of the upper 
country that those merchants subsisted who tenanted the 
gorgeous Saracenic khans of the seven saloons of Cairo. 
But military ambition and mercantile greed had never 
approached the land confines of Abyssinia, and the 
extension of the power of the Pasha of Egypt from the 
Nejd to the Senaar reminds us rather of the Turks 
in the days of a Selim and a Solyman than of the 
Ottomans of the nineteenth century of the Christian era. 
Nor was it alone by force of arms that Mohammed 
Ali looked forward to complete the conquest of the semi- 
barbarous tribes of the upper country. Three ulema 
learned in the laws and rites of Islamism accompanied 
the expedition. Their mission was not only to preach 
the doctrines of the Koran, but at the same time to 
enforce upon those savage clans the political precept that 

VOL. II. fi 


temporal obedience was strictly due to the heir of the 

In June, 1820, three thousand boats were assembled 
at Cairo for the purpose of easily transporting to the 
upper country the men, ammunition, and stores requisite 
for the expedition. Between three and four thousand 
infantry, with several hundred of the gigantic Ababdeh 
Arabs, the whole being under the command of Ismael 
Pasha, one of Mohammed Ali's sons, departed for As- 
souan; the north-west winds, prevalent at this period, 
swelling their sails and moderating the intense heat of 
the summer solstice. At the same time, a force of 
cavalry ascended the valley of the Nile by land. 

The general rendezvous was at Assouan, from whence 
the little army passed into Nubia. No opposition had 
hitherto showed itself. This region, beyond the first cata- 
ract, where every shred of cultivable territory between 
the river and the mountain is carefully husbanded, is 
inhabited by a Berber race, a relic of that vast Numidian 
nationality which once occupied the greater part of 
northern Africa; but, driven remote from the coast of 
the Mediterranean by the Arabs, still straggled in con- 
siderable numbers from the Eed Sea almost to the 
Atlantic, and has given to this portion of the world 
the name of the coast of Barbary. Unwarlike at home, 
they fulfil servile employments in Cairo, and the forced 
frugality of the scanty soil of Nubia becomes penurious- 
ness amid the greater plenty of the Egyptian capital. 
Early to quit the sterile region between the cataracts; 
laboriously to accumulate pittance on pittance in the 
domestic servitude of Cairo, and then to return to a 
semi-independent indolence in Nubia, is the height of 
the ambition of the modern Berber. A grudging assist- 
ance, rather than an opposition, was what Ismael Pasha 
met with in the date-growing lands of Ibreem and the 


horse-rearing Dongolah. It was not until five days' 
march beyond the latter place that opposition first 
showed itself. The Sheikhieh Arabs attempted to draw 
the force of Ismael some distance from the Nile, and 
then attacked it with several thousand men mounted 
on horses and dromedaries. But the steady and well- 
directed fire of the Turkish force, now partially drilled 
and manoeuvred to some extent on European principles, 
sufficed to check this numerous horde with the loss of 
only a few men. Then, passing the Nile on the backs 
of their horses, the Turkish cavalry completed the rout, 
and the army could continue its course. 

But the Nile no longer furnished that depth of water 
which permitted the navigation of large barks ; so the 
troops marched in its vicinity the infantry in detach- 
ments, and the artillery carried on scaffolds supported by 
two camels abreast. In this way they reached succes- 
sively Berber and Shendy. These places, where Turks 
found still some traces of Arab civilization, were governed 
by " Maleks." This word, which in the large sense is 
il king," may with reference to these subordinates of the 
sovereignty of Senaar be accurately entitled " Beeves," 
as applying to persons seized or possessed of the lieu- 
tenancy of power.* 

At Shendy, Malek Nimr, unable to resist the force that 
entered the territory, made a studious display of sub- 
mission ; and the chief of the Sheikhieh, who had retired 
here on receiving the promise of Ismael that no harm 
would befal him, expressed himself equally ready to 
forward this easy conquest, of which he gave substantial 
proof on the march to Senaar, by pointing out pits in 
which Indian corn was concealed. 

* The original and literal meanings of the titles of the "powers that be" are not 
uninteresting, Sultan signifying " power ;" Malek, " possession" hence, " Mame- 
luke" possessed; "Reeve," seizure, seisin. The office in Germanic and Frank is Graf, 
Greffier : gripe, griffin, and grab are derived from it. 


All the aspects of nature were now changing fo the 
little army of Ismael Pasha. The great Kile, which only 
acquires its full volume after the junction of the Abbara 
which drains Eastern Abyssinia, was above that conflu- 
ence, and, particularly in the low season, no longer the 
river of the imposing magnitude they had been ac- 
customed to : further up, above the confluence of the 
Blue and White Mies, the former by which they held 
on their way to Senaar was still smaller. The alluvial 
soil of Egypt is a foreign deposit of perennial floods on 
the Lybian desert ; but here they had arrived at a part 
of the rich aboriginal territorial reservoir itself, where, 
instead of the scattered artificial groves of palm and 
crops produced by inundation and irrigation, wide- 
spread full-growing natural woods reciprocate a heated 
humidity with those clouds and rains of heaven which are 
so rare in Upper Egypt. Man, too, is different from the 
"bonny tawny Moor'' of the north coast of Africa; for 
the tint has gradually sunk through the dusky brown of 
Nubia to the glossy black of Senaar and the neighbour- 
ing Cordofan. The climate is deadly to the European. 
The true features of Africa, hitherto masked by the cool 
climate of the environs of the Mediterranean, here reveal 
themselves. In the Nile, the hippopotamus, which is 
rare in Egypt, is present in numbers, while the plains 
are traversed by the winged step of the ostrich and the 
giraffe ; the elephant and the rhinoceros drag their 
huge bulk through the open glade ; the tiger and the 
panther have their lair in the jungle, and myriads of 
monkies swarm in lofty trees. 

But even in this distant region the blessings of Arab 
civilization are felt to a certain extent; and, if we are 
ready to sneer at the decadence of the East, let us 
remember that this remarkable nation, which transmitted 
to Europe the civilization of the Eomans and Greeks, has 


scattered far into the heart of Africa scintillations of its 
own laws, ethics, arts, and manufactures. The Koran 
has for ages attuned the souls of these low races to a 
poetry and a morality far above the grovelling level of 
the aboriginal mind ; and in this world of material want 
the town of Senaar presented to the eyes of the Egyptians 
smiths, jewellers, carpenters, masons, tailors, weavers, 
and tanners, who rudely resembled those of Cairo. But 
in this land of the vigorous generation and production of 
the animal and vegetable kingdoms agriculture was still 
further behind. The plough was unknown. A pike, 
pressed with the foot so as to make an aperture in the 
ground, was the native substitute for an instrument 
familiar to the Egyptians from the days of the Pharaohs. 
Here all was primeval ; the land was measured by stone- 
casts, and the waters of the Nile were crossed by the 
Senaarry, with his wife and children, on the back of an 
ox, or swimming alone assisted by a log-float. It was 
only considerably down the Nile that navigation was 
available for the slaves, the gums, and the ostrich fea- 
thers which Senaar exchanged for the coffee of Arabia, 
and the products of the looms of Cairo and Manchester. 

Circumstances favoured the advance of the son of 
Mohammed Ali ; and those regions in which he was soon 
after to perish by the hand of a patriot assassin were, in 
the first instance, annexed to the Pashalic of Egypt with- 
out any attempt at resistance. Disunion was in the 
councils of the two brothers who held the power at 
Senaar : one, who wished to give in to Ismael, was 
treacherously murdered by his brother; but the other, 
unable to raise a party, or organise a force competent to 
resist the invader, was compelled to fly. Mohammed, a 
deposed king of Senaar who had some years been lan- 
guishing in a prison, resumed the shadowy sceptre ; and, 
acknowledging himself to be the faithful vassal of Sultan 


Mahmoud, the invader became his liberator from bondage 
the constituent of his renewed lease of power, and the 
captor of his rival, who narrowly escaped death at the 
hands of Ismael, and was only saved at the intercession 
of the sheikhs. Thus fell the Upper Nile into the power 
of the family of Mohammed Ali, a fief which his grandson 
still holds of his sovereign. But it was long before this 
acquisition was consolidated. Years of massacre, revolt, 
pillage, and conflagration, accompanied and followed the 
death of Ismael, which so soon clouded the satisfaction 
with which Mohammed Ali viewed the lustre of his 
family, and the extension of his dominion to the confines 
of Abyssinia. 

The exactions, insults, and haughty demeanour of 
Ismael had so exasperated Malek Nimr at Shendy, that 
this barbarian collected large quantities of straw, under 
pretext of forage, feigned a dancing festival, and, after 
nightfall, surrounded the dwelling of the son of Moham- 
med Ali with his men, and drove the attendants of 
Ismael into the house. Then, lighting the straw, the 
house took fire, and those who escaped the sword 
perished in the conflagration. Such was the end of 
Ismael Pasha. 





IT was at the close of the European struggle of the 
first fifteen years of this century that Mohammed All 
began that great revolution of manners which so utterly 
changed the social, political, and mercantile aspect of 
Egypt. The vast superiority of Europe in arts and 
arms was too evident to all men of intelligence to be 
longer resisted. But the association of the reforms with 
a religion which is odious and even contemptible to the 
Moslems was the great obstacle to an attempt at a 
general change. Sultan Selim had lost life and throne 
in the attempt ; and it was by a miracle that Mahmoud 
and Mohammed Ali died in their beds. These two ex- 
traordinary men, subsequently sworn foes of each other, 
moved in parallel lines to the combat of the most obsti- 
nate prejudices of the modern Turk and Arab. 

But it was no easy matter in these earlier stages. 
Mohammed Ali had no sooner, in August, 1815, an- 
nounced his intention to discipline his troops in the 
European manner, than a revolt broke out among them ; 
the bazaars were plundered, and Mohammed Ali himself 
was obliged to retire behind the towers and solid 
walls of the castle of Saladin, in order to save himself 
from a planned assassination. But this momentary burst 


of discontent had to give way to the settled unalterable 
resolves and persevering plans of the Pasha, now secure 
in his stronghold. Some of the leaders of the troops 
were gained by largesse, and the rest intimidated into 
submission. The first step was a costly one; and in 
course of time the discipline of Europe became habitual 
not only to the Egyptian, Turk, and Arab, but even to 
the negroes from the upper country, who were formed 
into corps and trained to the manual and platoon exer- 
cise under the care of Monsieur Seves, an officer of the 
army of Bonaparte, who, being thrown out of a career in 
France by the events of 1815, sought his fortunes in 
Egypt, and, having embraced Islamism, had since risen 
to the highest military rank under the name of Soliman 

This new organization of the army subsequently de- 
veloped itself in large proportions. A school of infantry 
officers was formed at El Khankah, where languages and 
military exercises were taught. On the other side of the 
Nile the palace of Murad Bey, so repeatedly mentioned 
during the campaign of the Pyramids, became a cavalry 
school where another soldier of the imperial armies, 
Monsieur Yarin, instructed a corps in the equitation and 
drill of Europe on those very sands where, since the days 
of Saladin, the Mameluke youth had been taught to use 
the mace and sabre against Tartar and Crusader. 

Nor was artillery neglected. This arm, often so 
decisive and important, had to be created in a country 
where pieces cast in the seventeenth century still gar- 
nished the walls of forts, and were directed by men who 
had not the rudest elements of those mathematical and 
technical acquirements which knit the art of the artil- 
leryman so closely to the science of the engineer. It 
was the artillery well pointed against the impetuous 
Mameluke cavalry that had decided the fate of Egypt at 


Embabeh, and Mohammed All was not the man to neglect 
the lesson. A Spanish colonel, Seguera, organised the 
artillery school of Mohammed Ali, so much to his satis- 
faction that the rank of bey was conferred, with many 
expressions of content ; for the Greek war and the other 
embarrassments of the Ottoman empire left Mohammed 
Ali virtual master of Egypt, and dispensing honours 
within the attributes of the sovereign. The Divan, 
anxious to profit by his talents and resources, swallowed 
these affronts, biding the time when some conjuncture in 
the vortex of affairs might enable them to make Mo- 
hammed Ali share the fate of other powerful individuals, 
who, keeping their heads for a time above water, had 
been ultimately swallowed up in the system of the Porte. 

Master of a large revenue in the prime of his talents 
and activity and virtually independent of the Porte, 
Mohammed Ali neglected none of the auxiliary roads to 
the consolidation of his power. A large part of the 
citadel was turned into an arsenal where the skilled 
workmen of England and Europe directed the industry 
of hundreds of native Egyptians in the casting of 
cannon, and accoutering of the soldiers from head to 
foot. The tide was at the flood, and Mohammed Ali 
took it with matchless confidence and precision. 

At the period of the French invasion Alexandria was 
at its lowest ebb of decadence. It was no longer the 
prosperous emporium of the Venetian trade : within and 
without its precincts, the ruins of warehouses, mosques 
and tombs, chiefly met the eye. But at the conclusion 
of the Anglo-French war its commerce began rapidly to 
increase ; and Mohammed Ali, not content with having 
an army on the European model, conceived the idea of 
having also a navy, of which Alexandria should be the 
arsenal. He had already got frigates constructed at 
Venice and Marseilles ; and conscious of the multiplied 


power which a naval predominance gives even to small 
armies, he, in the year 1829, commissioned Monsieur 
Cerisy, of Marseilles, to construct a naval arsenal in 
Alexandria, an institution which subsequently assumed 
large proportions. French naval instructors were also 
drawn to Egypt, and Turco-Egyptian pupils received a 
practical training in the dockyards and on board the 
ships of war of England. Yarious other French and 
English engineers rendered signal service to Mohammed 
Ali, among whom we may mention Galloway Bey, a man 
of signal ability. 

With a view of getting a large revenue out of Egypt, 
of the resources of which he was now so to speak exclu- 
sive master, Mohammed Ali readily opened his ears to 
all projects which might bring back to this favoured land 
its former productiveness; and none seemed so suitable 
as the cultivation of cotton, for which both the soil and 
the climate are eminently favourable, while the large 
demand for this raw material in the manufacturing 
centres of Europe left no doubt as to a market being 
found for it. An inferior cotton plant was indigenous to 
the soil of Egypt ; but it was the introduction of the 
American sea island cotton plant that formed so great an 
epoch in the modern history of Egypt : and its exten- 
sion produced a large proportion of that considerable 
revenue which gave such a financial lever to the Pasha 
in his subsequent struggles with the Porte. The indigo 
culture went in companionship with that of cotton. The 
West had furnished the former, while from the East 
Indies were brought cultivators of indigo, who introduced 
into the valley of the Nile those improved processes 
through which the products of Hindostan had for genera- 
tions excluded the indigo of Egypt from the markets of 
Europe. From Asia Minor were brought rayahs skilled 
in the culture of opium, and thus another important and 


lucrative branch was added to the agricultural produc- 
tions of Egypt. The plantation of forest trees has, at the 
same time, gradually diminished the extreme dryness of 
the climate of Egypt, and showers of rain are now less 
rare and extraordinary than they were at the beginning 
of the century. Nor was the ornamental neglected. In 
the delicious island of Eaoudah, between Cairo and the 
Pyramids, and in which the Mamelukes used to enjoy 
the shade of the sycamore and the orange, Ibrahim 
Pasha, through the instrumentality of a Scotch horticul- 
turist, planted a garden which the hot sun and abundant 
water of the basin of the Nile rapidly developed into a 
most luxuriant growth of whatever could delight the 
eye, the taste, or the sense of perfume. Here were the 
bamboo of India, with its heat and shade ; the fruits of 
the Antilles ; the spices of the Asiatic Islands ; and the 
fauna and flora of the Amazons, with their magni- 
foliage, their brilliancy, and endless variety. Here was 
the science of the horticulturist, and here the taste of 
the landscape gardener, who agreeably surprised the 
Briton with a park, showing the variety of natural 
scenery, but the details of tropical vegetation as a sub- 
stitute for the arboriculture of the grove, and the glades 
of our northern demesnes. 

The Nile is the great artery of Egyptian commerce ; 
but neither its Eosetta nor its Damietta mouths are fa- 
vourable ports for those large vessels of long course 
through which an extensive foreign trade can be kept 
up. The contest between the sands of the sea, and an 
impetuous river holding so large an amount of alluvium 
in solution during its course, and depositing it so largely 
at its mouths, has created bars which render Eosetta and 
Damietta fit only for the reception of those numerous 
coasting barks which carry the rice and corn of Egypt to 
the rocky and less alluvial coasts of Syria. The port of 


Alexandria defective in some respects, not only from 
exposure to the north-west winds, but also from want of 
depth at the entrance is still the only one in Egypt fit 
to be a naval arsenal and a great emporium of com- 
merce. But it is situated at some distance from the 
Eosetta branch of the Nile. The restoration of the canal 
connecting Alexandria with the river, was therefore one 
of the most useful and important works of Mohammed 
Ali. It bore the name of Sultan Mahmoud, and com- 
memorates the verbal homage to the Sovereign, with 
which this crafty chief honeyed over the bitterest potions 
he administered. The canal itself, however, has proved 
of much benefit in connecting the only considerable 
port of Egypt with the artery of the Nile, the populous 
capital, and the productive Delta ; and until the opening 
of the railway between Alexandria and Cairo it was 
largely used for the overland transit to India. 

Under the influence of this commercial development 
the aspect of Alexandria rapidly changed. Houses in 
the European fashion covered the Frank quarter, and the 
merchants, no longer confined in khans, peopled the 
streets and squares that rose up in the vicinity of the new 
port, and spread their villas and gardens along the banks 
of the canal. Several large English, French, and Greek 
houses carried on a most extensive and lucrative com- 
merce. Messrs. Briggs and Thurburn, a great British 
firm, in one year purchased the whole of the cotton crop 
of Egypt It is impossible not to condemn the methods 
by which the Pasha came into possession of so much 
private landed property; but the improvement, in the 
adaptation of the culture of this rich region to the com- 
mercial wants of Europe, showed an energy and an in- 
telligence beyond his age and nation. 

It is impossible to assign the same praise to the manu- 
facturing efforts of the Pasha. Under the impression 


that, as Egypt possessed materials such as cotton and 
indigo, the land of their raw production might also be 
the seat of their manufacture, he forgot that a govern- 
ment trenching on the sphere of private speculation in 
a country where all nations shun labour, and to which 
nature has denied coal, could never compete with manu- 
facturing countries abounding with individual enterprise 
and capital, as well as in the coal, the iron, and the 
schools of mechanical ingenuity which designate by 
broad and unmistakeable lines the spheres in which 
agricultural or manufacturing industry can develope 
themselves with success. In short, the manufacturing 
schemes of Mohammed Ali were an utter failure, with 
some few exceptions, such as the red woollen Tunis cap- 
making, carried on at Fouah under economical condi- 
tions similar to those of Barbary ; and which forming 
an indispensable part of oriental costume, even as 
modernised found a ready market in Egypt itself. 

The medical and educational institutions introduced 
by Mohammed Ali into Egypt deserve every praise. 
At the period of the French invasion the science 
of medicine, once so esteemed and studied by the 
Arabs, had declined into ignorance and imposture. 
Simples, juggles, and talismans were all jumbled up 
together in the practice of the native Egyptian ; who, 
not content with the symptoms of a disease as a key 
to the remedy to be applied, would superadd fanciful 
calculations suggested by the names of the relatives of 
the patient. To Dr. Clot, a native of Marseilles, after- 
wards raised to the rank of bey, Egypt owes the establish- 
ment of medical institutions, comprising civil hospitals, 
in Cairo and the provinces ; the organization of the 
medical service of the army ; and last, not least, the 
establishment of a medical school which turns out young 
surgeons both for the military and the civil service. 


The insane, who used to be kept chained in barred dens, 
like wild beasts, were taken away from the hospital of 
Kalaon, where many an Indian overland traveller has 
seen this afflicting and degrading spectacle, and tended 
in accordance with the humane usages of modern Europe. 
In the great plague of 1835, which carried off one 
hundred and fifty thousand souls of whom thirty-five 
thousand were in Cairo alone Clot Bey distinguished 
himself by his zeal and courage. " You have come out 
of a battle that has lasted six months," said Mohammed 
Ali to him, in acknowledging his services. 

A council of public instruction was organized by 
Mohammed Ali, chiefly with a view to the military 
and civil service of the government; not confined to 
Turks and ignoring the native Arab Egyptians, as 
had been hitherto the case in Egypt, but reviving the 
system of Sultan Hassan in developing the native Arab 
element. In this respect Mohammed Ali went far 
beyond the renowned Mameluke Sultan. Kot only 
were numerous European scientific works translated into 
Arabic, and made text-books in the medical and poly- 
technic schools, but French was taught as the most con- 
venient opening to the knowledge of Europe, and pupils 
were sent to England and France in order to complete 
the studies begun in Egypt. 

A complete revolution took place in the internal 
government of Egypt. All oligarchy was merged in 
one common vortex, with a majority of the titles to 
landed property. The Pasha became almost the one 
great landlord of this magnificent and productive do- 
main, while a new and uniform bureaucratic system 
was applied to Egypt, which was divided into great 
provinces ruled over by mudirs, who maintained the 
canals, apportioned the cultivation of the land, and 
collected the harvest and revenue. These provinces 


were subdivided into districts under mamours, who 
immediately supervised the details of agriculture and 
revenue, and who possessed summary police powers. 
Thus Egypt became nearly one great farm, held at a 
nominal rental of the Sultan. From this Mohammed 
Ali derived the usufruct : his bureaucracy were the 
overseers, and the population of Egypt the servants. 
Under this system the state grew to compactness, sym- 
metry, and power; but the opulence, the ease, and the 
liberty of private individuals was extinguished. The 
landed gentry and the wealthy ulema gradually declined. 
The upper servants of the State, enjoying large salaries, 
took the place in society formerly occupied by the 
Mameluke beys and sheikhs, holders of landed property. 
The oppression of individuals grew excessive. It was 
no longer the sudden exaction of the Mameluke bey, 
followed by an interval of exemption; but a terroristic 
and inhuman systematic pressure on the labour and 
resources of every individual. Nor was the heavy new 
taxation confined to agricultural provinces. A classified 
capitation tax, entitled "ferdeh" (individual or personal) 
was collected from the towns with extreme rigour, and 
the bastinado applied in all cases where the tax was 
in arrear, and often with little regard to the ability 
to pay. 

The most favourable side of the new system introduced 
into Egypt was the improved police,- the protection of 
the Franks residing in towns from native insolence and 
fanaticism, the security of roads and' of the great high- 
way of the Nile to both the native and the foreign 
traveller, and the transformation of the Bedouin tribes 
on the borders of the cultivated land from men whose 
hands were against every man into auxiliaries of civili- 
zation, into breeders of camels, and carriers of merchan- 
dize ; so that, from being one of the most insecure coun- 


tries for a European traveller, Egypt became a land in 
which the stranger might peregrinate without fear of 

The salient circumstance in this revolution of manners 
was the resumption of the overland transit to India by 
way of Egypt ; the development of the steam naviga- 
tion, and the police order produced in Egypt by Mo- 
hammed Ali, concurring simultaneously to this end. In 
the latter part of the eighteenth century, the great 
extension of the British empire in India had caused 
attention to be drawn to the necessity of a more direct 
communication between the dependency and the domi- 
nant country than by the long and circuitous route which 
Portuguese enterprise had opened by the Cape of Good 
Hope. Two ships the Endeavour and the Enterprise 
were fitted out for the purpose of keeping up the 
communication between Bombay and Suez ; but the 
dangerous and uncertain navigation, and the unsettled 
condition of Egypt under Mameluke rule, proved ob- 
stacles to any decided preponderance of advantage over 
the longer route, with its trade winds and ample sea 
room. The orderly Egyptian police, and the rising 
steam school of Britain in the nineteenth century, 
however, created facilities which were not to be thrown 
away; and, without entering into details with which 
every newspaper reader of this age is familiar, it may 
be stated that passengers and letters are now conveyed 
overland to India with as much safety and regularity as 
the most fastidious can desire, and with that celerity 
which characterizes the railway communications of the 
most civilized countries of Europe. 

But long continued and painful efforts were requisite 
at the outset in order to establish the communication. 
It was with a single carpet-bag of letters that Wag- 
horn a naval officer of extraordinary shrewdness and 


corporeal activity first crossed the desert as the more 
immediate harbinger of the revived overland transit. 
Steamers on the Nile were slowly organised, while, from 
England to Alexandria, the communication was kept up 
by Admiralty steam vessels; and, at length, in 1840, 
a Avealthy mercantile company, under contract to the 
British Government, placed on both the Mediterranean 
and Indian Eed Sea lines steamships of power, dimen- 
sion, and accommodation, commensurate with British 
science and British capital. 

Nor were the other maritime powers of Europe idle. 
If France, and still more Austria, are unequal to Britain 
in maritime resources, they possess, in the vicinity of the 
ports of Marseilles and Trieste to the African continent, 
and the scales of the Levant, a manifest advantage over 
any country of the north of Europe, of which they have 
not failed to avail themselves by the establishment of 
extensive schemes of steam navigation to those Eastern 
parts. These facilities the natives of Britain have taken 
the fullest advantage of, because regarding them in 
accordance with the enlarged maxims of modern econo- 
mical science with feelings of honourable rivalry rather 
than of a timid and ungenerous jealousy. 

Passing from the public institutions of Egypt to the 
private establishments of the Pasha, we find him con- 
structing or embellishing luxurious habitations in Alex- 
andria, and in Cairo and its environs. The season was 
usually passed in the latter capital after the heats of 
summer had ceased, the apartments of the Pasha looking 
out on a garden perched on the summit of the citadel. 
Below was the wide-stretched city not an unbroken 
expanse of roofs, but varied more than any other city, 
either of the East or West, with the numerous and 
beautiful domes and minarets of the various phases of 
Saracenic architecture from the melon-crowned fanes of 


the lieutenants of the Caliphs of Bagdad to the lightest, 
airiest, and most elegant minarets of the Circassian 
Sultans, under whom the Moslem architecture of Egypt 
arrived at perfection in fantastic grace and unimitative 
local quaintness, before its decline into the unartificial 
baldness of the common Turkish type. 

Winter in this delicious climate implies the cessation 
of the overpowering heats that prostrate the energies of 
the natives of northern countries, but not the privation 
of bright exhilarating sunshine, or of the luxuriant 
vegetation of the tropics. At Shoubrah a short dis- 
tance from Cairo down the Nile, and connected with it 
by a continuous avenue of acacias and sycamores- was a 
garden and pavilion, the reverse of the rich wildness of 
Roda. Here, thick groves of the luxuriant orange were 
disposed in symmetrical mazes, alleys, and terraces in the 
style of Italy ; while the numerous jets of a fountain 
cooled the midday atmosphere of the pavilion. 

Whatever Mohammed AH may have been as a political 
character, no man showed more consummate tact and 
courtesy in the reception of strangers. Whether it were 
the diplomatic or commercial agent of an European Power, 
or the passing traveller attracted by the wonders of the 
valley of the Nile, this Pasha, untutored in universities 
and unlearned in the European boundaries and subdi- 
visions of human knowledge, could yet read at a glance 
the nature of man ; and by the intuition of genius was 
marvellously successful in saying the right thing at the 
right time. His demeanour was perfectly free from 
pomp and hauteur ; and all his most important political 
and commercial business was carried on with an easy 
garrulity which, in politics, like playful humour in litera- 
ture, is often one of the most unmistakeable character- 
istics of power. 

Knowing well that he was in his own person one of 


the curiosities of Egypt, and anxious to stand well with 
Europe, he was by no means unwilling, when occasion 
offered, to make himself the topic of conversation. The 
learned and ingenious Sir John Bowring has preserved a 
specimen of this vein. 

" ' Do not judge me by the standard of your knowledge. 
Compare me with the ignorance that is around me. We 
cannot apply the same rules to Egypt as to England : 
centuries have been required to bring you to your 
present state ; I have had only a few years. You have 
numbers of intelligent persons who comprehend their 
rulers and carry on their work. I can find very few to 
understand me and do my bidding. I am often de- 
ceived, and I know I am deceived ; whereas many are 
deceived and do not know it. I seek everybody who can 
give me information.' 

" 1 1 have been almost alone for the greater part of my 
life, finding nobody except Boghos Bey to second me. 
It was only for the last fifteen years that I can say I 
have lived ; and now I can accomplish more in four 
years than in the fifteen that are past. I doubted the 
aptitude even of my own childreneven of Ibrahim 
Pasha ; but I have now learned that he is to be relied 
upon and fully trusted. We cannot go on as fast as we 
wish, nor do everything we desire to do. If I were to 
put on Colonel Campbell's trousers (looking at the 
Consul-General who is six feet high), would that make 
me as tall as Colonel Campbell ? ' 

11 ' Europeans who come to Egypt often think that they 
can do with Arabs just what they can do with their own 
people. They are wanting what they cannot get ; and 
fancy the Arabs will work as Europeans work, and this 
cannot be. When I went to Upper Egypt, an officer 
was recommended to me as a very distinguished man, 
and I was told that at all events I must secure his 


services, and I did so. So he came to me, and I asked 
what I was to do to have things settled according to his 
notions ; and he answered, " You must have this, and 
this, and this." To which I said, " But this, and this, 
and this are not to be had." So I sent him about his 

" * Your country, England, has reached its present 
eminence by the labours of many generations; and no 
country can be made suddenly great and nourishing. 
Now I have done something for Egypt. I have begun 
to improve her ; and she may be compared, in some 
respects, not only with Eastern, but with European 
countries. I have much to learn, and so have my 
people ; and I am now sending Edhem Bey with fifteen 
young men to learn what your country can teach. They 
must see with their own eyes ; they must learn to work 
with their own hands ; they must examine your manu- 
factures; they must try to discover how and why you 
are superior to us; and when they have been among 
your people a sufficient time, they must come home and 
instruct my people.' 

"'The English have made many great discoveries, but 
the best of their discoveries is that of steam navigation.' 
I told him that the inventor of steam navigation was an 
American, and he replied, 'Had they not had fathers 
like you, they would not have been such clever children.' 

" 4 1 had not the benefits of early education. I was 
forty-seven years old when I learned to read and write. 
I have never seen countries more civilized than my own ; 
so I do not expect to do what you are able to do, and to 
reach the height at which you have arrived.' 

" ' The difficulty is to begin. I had to begin by 
scratching the soil of Egypt with a pin ; I have now got 
to cultivate it with a spade ; but I mean to have all the 
benefit of a plough,' 


" He frequently spoke of the difference between 
European and Oriental modes of government. Once he 
said to me, ' In your country you must have a great 
many hands to move the machine of state ; I move it 
with my own. I do not always exactly see what is best 
to be done; but when I do see it, I compel prompt 
obedience to my wishes, and what is seemingly best is 
done.' " 

Thus the reader may see that Mohammed Ali had not 
only the masculine intelligence and will to govern 
Orientals ; but also some amount of wit, with its ex- 
pansive and illustrating power, to recommend him with 
plausibility to intelligent Europeans who visited Egypt. 
Strong and general predispositions were thus engendered 
in his favour, both in European society and in the Euro- 
pean press, which even his subsequent unjustifiable pro- 
ceedings to the Porte only partially removed. 






WHILE Mohammed AH was consolidating his power, 
that of the Sultan was threatened with imminent disso- 

It was in the middle of the 17th century that Turkey 
found herself at the maximum of her dominion. The 
Empire of the East being completely absorbed, the 
Greeks had not even a glimmering of hope that their 
emancipation would take place* The Armenians of 
Asiatic Turkey had been so thoroughly absorbed, that, 
although Christians) they had even adopted Turkish 
as their vernacular language. The Servian state of 
Stephan Dushan had been entirely incorporated with 
Turkey. Hungary, since 1526, had shared the same 
fate, with the exception of a few countries on the 
Austrian frontier, which were the debateable lands 
between the Turk and the Emperor. 

Three great states stood firm against the almost 
overwhelming tide of Ottoman invasion the Empire of 
Germany, the Kingdom of Poland, and the maritime 
Eepublic of Venice ; and all three contributed in a 
remarkable manner to the turning back of this terrible 
inundation. The raising of the siege of Vienna by the 
aid of Poland was followed by the conquest of Hungary 


by the armies, generals, and resources of the House of 
Hapsburg ; and, accompanied by a vigorous flank move- 
ment of the Venetians in Dalmatia, brought about those 
treaties of Carlovitz and Passarovitz, which restored 
the central basin of the Danube to Christendom. From 
this period dates the German civilization of Hungary ; 
and from this period Turkey ceased to be imminently 
dangerous to Europe. But the decline of the Ottoman 
Empire arose not only from the loss of territory, but from 
her remaining relatively so far in arrear of the science 
and military organization of Europe, which arose from 
the strictly binding spirit of the Moslem religion, as well 
as from that indisposition to the persevering processes 
of science which characterises all the Ugrian races from 
Hungary to Tartary. Great strength of will, consider- 
able finesse in discovering and defeating the schemes of 
their seditious and rebellious rayahs, and great bravery 
to combat the open foe in the field of battle, have in 
all ages been the distinguishing characteristics of the 
Ottoman Turks. But after the art of war had in 
modern times been subjected to extraordinary improve- 
ments by a Turenne, a Vauban, an Eugene, a Marl- 
borough, and a Frederick not to advance in proportion 
was for the Turks to retrograde. Indisposed themselves 
to adopt the new science of Europe, their national and 
religious pride revolted at being commanded by men 
they counted infidels ; and being in the latter part of 
the eighteenth century pitted against the rising power 
of Russia a nation essentially imitative, and greedily 
adoptive of the talent of Western Europe the result 
was a further loss of all the rich territories on the north 
of the Black Sea and Caspian from the Pruth to the 
mouths of the Volga. 

It was with no complacent eye that Austria, in the 
beginning of the nineteenth century now no longer 


hostile to Turkey saw that, where she had sown, Eussia 
reaped so largely; and though she was more deeply 
engaged than Eussia in the struggle that sprung out of 
the French Eevolution of 1792, the latter had compara- 
tively free play in her pressure on Turkey. Domestic 
revolt, too, came in aid of foreign invasion, and the Ser- 
vian rising of 1804-6 and the succeeding years, 
headed by the heroic Kara George, was only too de- 
plorably justified by the tyranny and oppression exercised 
by the old unreformed Turkish Government on this 
brave and meritorious population. The remains of the 
Empire were consumed by a feudal system that had 
taken the place of that administrative unity and compact 
power which had been wielded with such tremendous 
effect by the Selims and the Solymans. Bosnia, the 
seat of a heroic population which occupied the great 
bastion of mountain territory forming the north-west 
angle of Turkey in Europe, was divided into numerous 
districts, each ruled over by a bey generally a de- 
scendant of those Croat nobles who, in the fifteenth 
century, had embraced Islamism ; and who now, from 
fear of Christian emancipation, gave the Porte partial 
succours in the suppression of the Servian revolt, but 
steadily resisted an administrative fusion with the rest 
of the empire. The state of Albania was even worse. 
In the pashalic of Yanina, Ali Pasha Tepelene had 
raised up an imperium in imperio, in which the power 
and authority of the Porte was openly and successfully 
defied, as if this part of the Adriatic had been utterly 
foreign to the Ottoman dominions. Even in Asia Minor, 
which is the heart's core of the empire, and the especial seat 
of the Turkish population, the Dereh Beyliks, or bey- 
ships of the valleys, constituted a group of turbulent 
feudal baronies, holden of the Porte by slight and un- 
willing tenures, and in which the welfare of the feeble 


State was subordinate to the interests of the potent 

But the hardest blow was yet to come. The Greek 
population of the southern part of Turkey in Europe 
and the islands, maintaining more intimate relations 
with Christendom than any other Eayah nations, con- 
ceived the idea of a resurrection on the ruins of the 
superincumbent Ottoman element. With a few rare 
exceptions, the Greeks of the eighteenth and preceding 
centuries were sunk in illiterateness ; but, in the nine- 
teenth, by their inborn intelligence, they quickly imi- 
tated the civilization of Europe. Wealth was gained 
by merchandize and navigation ; the youth frequenting 
the medical schools of Christendom assimilated readily 
to the habits of the European capitals, and heard on 
all sides expressions of sympathy with Greece and of 
hatred and contempt for Turkey. The writings of 
Chateaubriand, and other honest and eloquent but vain 
and superficial men, became known to the few, while 
the great bulk of the nation was conscious of the 
grandeur of its antecedents conscious that no epic poet 
had surpassed its own Homer, and that no human in- 
telligence had ever approached much less equalled 
that of Aristotle in variety and profundity. The capital 
bore the name of the first and, in some respects, the 
greatest of the Eastern Ca3sars ; and even those beyond 
the pale of the church that they styled orthodox con- 
ceded to them a preference in the vain pretensions of an 
apostolic succession over the younger church of Eome. 
This recollection of the genius of Attica, and the colossal 
proportions of the political and legal fabric of empire, 
combined with the visible presence of the still standing 
Eastern church, was more than enough to inflame the 
pride of any nation, while Europe was auxiliary and 


But the power of Turkey in Europe, although seriously 
menaced, was not overthrown ; for in the great moral 
qualities of sincerity and bravery, the intelligent and 
mercantile modern Greek is (particularly as regards the 
former virtue) inferior to the Osmanli Turk. Moreover, 
the great bulk of Turkey in Europe, from the Gulf of 
Thessalonica to the mouths of the Danube, and from 
Adrianople to the borders of Albania, is inhabited not by 
Greeks, but by Bulgarians, who have formed a sort of 
dead weight which neither their Greek, Servian, nor 
Eussian co-religionists have been able to utilise against 
the Porte. The Greek, with his intelligence and the 
assistance of Europe, has proved a formidable enemy to 
the Porte. The Servian, by his dogged energy, bravery, 
and patriotism, has made an unseemly gap in the ad- 
ministrative unity of Turkey in Europe ; while Eussia, 
with her vast resources, pressed so frequently, so long, 
and so heavily on the Ottoman Empire, as to alarm and 
stir up the first powers of Europe to place limits to her 
aggressions. But the Bulgarian, orthodox Greek by 
religion, and far outnumbering either Greek or Servian, 
has, from peculiarities of national character, proved far 
from hostile to the Ottoman Power in Europe. 

As this peculiar political vis inertice of the Bulga- 
rians is at the root of the apparently unaccountable 
tenure of Turkey in Europe by so small a proportion of 
Moslems ; as, to every thinker of large views, there is 
a direct and immediate relation between the extreme 
regions of every heterogeneous empire in questions of 
general cohesion and continued supremacy of the domi- 
nant race or dynasty ; and as, in this particular Ottoman 
Empire, the disturbance of that supremacy by the Greeks 
gave a freer scope to Mohammed Ali, while the Eussian 
war of 1828-9 contributed still farther to the rise of this 
remarkable man, it has been impossible, in our survey 


of the condition of Turkey immediately preceding the 
open revolt of Mohammed Ali, to leave out of view this 
peculiarity of the Turkish rule in Europe. It is also im- 
possible to write the history of Egypt and ignore Turkey 
in Europe ; and the pressure of Eussia on Turkey cannot 
be elucidated without taking into account the events of 
which Egypt, Syria, and Asia Minor were the theatre. 

To the existence of this laborious, obedient, and we 
may even say submissive Bulgarian race, may be fairly 
attributed the hindrances which the Greeks experienced 
in attempting anything like the revival of a Byzantine 
kingdom, or empire, on the fertile plains of Thrace and 
Macedonia ; and the restriction of Greek emancipation to 
the Morea and a small part of the neighbouring country, 
with a few islands in the JEgean Sea. 

It is not however our intention to describe in detail 
the successive phases of the Greek Eevolution, which 
belong rather to the history of Europe than of the Arab 
races. But, although the excessive exhaustion which 
resulted therefrom to the Ottoman Empire favoured the 
internal consolidation of the power of Mohammed Ali, it 
is at the same time impossible to deny that he performed 
his duty vigorously to his sovereign, the Sultan, during 
these vicissitudes. No sooner had the Greek Ee volution 
shown its formidable character, than Mohammed Ali, in 
1821, sent a squadron of sixteen vessels, large and small, 
well provisioned, and carrying eight hundred land troops, 
to join the Ottoman squadron in the Dardanelles ; and, 
on its being seen that the revolt in the Morea could not 
be suppressed by the ordinary forces of Eoumelia, an 
army of twelve thousand men, disciplined in the Euro- 
pean manner, was despatched to the Morea under Ibra- 
him Pasha in August, 1825. 

No reasonable person can doubt that the suppression 
of the Greek rising would have been ultimately accom- 


plished ; but the battle of Navarino, on the 20th of 
October, 1827, being terminated by the destruction of 
the Turkish and Egyptian squadron, and followed by the 
active military and diplomatic intervention of France, 
Britain, and Eussia, Greece was henceforth lost to the 
Porte. In this concurrence of domestic revolt and 
foreign war, at a period of the decline of her political 
institutions, Turkey was like a ship in a storm, whose 
crew were in a mutiny, and whose tackle was worthless 
and worn out. But, in the midst of this tremendous 
crisis, the gigantic political figure of Sultan Mahmoud 
appeared at the post of the pilot, weathering the storm 
with a genius and an energy that challenges the admira- 
tion and sympathy of the world. From north, south, 
east, and west, the elements seemed to gather themselves 
together for a final effort which should engulf the 
Ottoman vessel of State ; but it was not written in the 
book of fate that the hour of the break-up was arrived. 
At the darkest crisis of the tempest, the soul of this great 
semi-barbarian never quailed. Bursts of passionate rage 
occasionally made his mind the too faithful mirror of the 
wild uproar of the political elements around him ; but 
his spirit rose with the buffets he had to contend with, 
and he died at the helm just before the dawn of a new 
era for Turkey, and its entrance into the calmness and 
security of a general pacification, which guaranteed the 
integrity and independence of the State by the five great 
Powers of Europe. 

Mohammed Ali had certainly a genius of greater range 
than that of Mahmoud ; but he had fewer difficulties to 
contend with, in destroying a perverse and selfish oli- 
garchy : for the breaking of the Mameluke power was 
already done to his hands by Bonaparte, and there was 
no grievous pressure from without on the capital stock of 
the resources which he wielded in Egypt. In fact, from 


the isolation and productiveness of the country, the gaps 
made by the Greek war were soon filled up. It was 
otherwise with the empire at large, governed by Sultan 
Mahmoud ; for, after the janissary power was broken, 
and before his civil and military reforms were com- 
pleted, the Eussian wars of 1828-9 brought Turkey into 
the most grievous difficulties; while the disastrous in- 
vasion of Eoumelia, which ended with the treaty of 
Adrianople, was like an assault on one of Turkey's 
own fortresses, when the old crenellated towers had been 
knocked down, but before the new fortifications were 

We have hitherto freely eulogised the conduct of 
Mohammed All his personal courage and political skill, 
the generosity and nobility of his nature, and that 
superiority to the prejudices of his nation and religion 
which made Egypt a secure asylum, and even an agree- 
able residence for persons of all creeds. But we now 
come to the second part of his career, which the most 
sympathising must utterly condemn ; in which a reckless 
ambition prompted him to trample underfoot the most 
solemn obligations, and allured him by the prospect of 
independent power to strike his sovereign and august 
benefactor in that moment of aggravated exhaustion and 
prostration when, by all the laws of humanity, he had a 
right to claim undeviating obedience and eager assist- 
ance. Mohammed Ali maintained a traitorous corres- 
pondence with those chiefs of Eoumelia who were 
opposed to the unfeudalising tendencies of Sultan Mah- 
moud; but the severe example that had been made in 
the person of Ali Pasha of Yanina, a few years before, 
rendered the Pasha of Scodra apprehensive of engaging 
in the intrigue, and he at once placed the communica- 
tions in the hands of the Porte. 

Mohammed Ali, not daring publicly to declare war 


against the Sultan, of whom he held his investiture, 
accused his neighbour, Abdullah Pasha of Acre, of fa- 
vouring the export of the products of Upper Egypt via 
the Syrian desert, instead of by Alexandria an act of 
self-condemnation on the part of the ruler of Egypt ; for 
trade will never leave its natural and legitimate channels 
and issues, unless it be diverted by a monopoly, or by 
some interruption repugnant to sound administration. 
To blame Abdullah Pasha for the results of his own 
unsound economical theory and practice, recals the fable 
of the wolf and the lamb. The Porte vindicated its 
dignity by pointing out that the governor of one pro- 
vince could not make himself the censor and discipli- 
narian of a neighbouring governor, without trenching on 
the prerogatives of sovereignty. But these reasonings 
had no effect on Mohammed Ali, who was bent on the 
conquest of Syria, for which the acts of Abdullah were 
merely the pretext. 

The number of men with which Ibrahim Pasha, who 
was named General-in-chief, undertook the conquest of 
Syria, was far larger than that which Bonaparte led 
across the desert to Acre ; and equalled, if it did not 
surpass, those with which the whole French expedition 
to Egypt was attempted amounting to six regiments of 
infantry, four of cavalry, and a proportionate force of 
artillery in all between thirty and forty thousand men. 
Nor is this surprising. Having unlimited authority in 
Egypt, the whole population was at the disposal of Mo- 
hammed Ali ; and his large revenue enabled him to 
complete the scientific armament of this army, by 
European aid ; while Egypt, having been from time 
immemorial the granary of Syria, the advantages of 
commissariat, so important in military operations, were 
entirely on the side of the invading force. 

A large squadron effected a passage by sea, carrying 


the heavy artillery, ammunition, and supplies, and hav- 
ing on board Ibrahim Pasha and his staff, including 
Solyman Bey (the French officer of the empire, named 
Selves, already mentioned) ; while the cavalry and the 
bulk of the infantry, having started for El Arish in the 
first days of November, 1831, crossed the desert, and 
having taken Gaza and Jaffa without meeting with re- 
sistance, the squadron and the army effected a rally at 
the latter port. Ibrahim Pasha, disembarking with his 
staff, took the command in person, and marched north- 
ward to Acre, where Abdullah had concentrated his 
strength in the hope of turning back Ibrahim, as Djezzar 
had turned back a greater commander. But the com- 
mand of the sea was not in the hands of Abdullah. ~No 
Sydney Smith, cruising on the coast, intercepted the 
heavy siege material, or repelled assault ; and Ibrahim, 
copying the plan of Bonaparte, deliberately landed his 
artillery and stores at Caiffa, the port that had proved so 
fatal to the plans for disembarking the heavy battering 
cannon destined by Bonaparte to reduce the fortress. 

While the army skirted the bay and advanced to 
Acre by land, the squadron, disburthened of its batter- 
ing train, attacked the place by sea, and enabled the 
besiegers to sit down before it under great advantages. 
The squadron, instead of disturbing, aided the attacking 
party ; and, instead of the light field pieces which 
played on the strongholds of Djezzar, it was with a 
regular siege train that Ibrahim Pasha assailed this 
historic city. Having described in the earlier part of 
this work the former and much more important siege, 
it is unnecessary to prolong the notice of the second 
leaguer of Acre. But it must be admitted that the 
defence of Abdullah was a gallant one. His batteries 
replied to those of Ibrahim from the 26th of November, 
when the place was first invested, until February, 1832, 


when, a breach having been effected, two vigorous 
assaults were made, but without success. At the same 
time, the troops of Ibrahim, accustomed to the mild 
winters of Egypt, with dry air and bright sunshine, 
were decimated with fever and discouraged by the 
terrible moral pressure of nostalgia. 

In addition to this, the forces of the Porte in the 
north of Syria were not idle. Although having neither 
the discipline nor the resources of Ibrahim, and ill- 
calculated to withstand the shock of a regular engage- 
ment, yet, if skilfully used, they could do much to 
harass and distract a besieging force. In order to clear 
his rear, Ibrahim Pasha advanced suddenly to the 
northward ; and Osman Pasha, of Aleppo, having im- 
prudently risked a close engagement in the plain of 
Zeran, suffered a total rout. This circumstance leaving 
Ibrahim free to pursue the siege without interruption, 
his plans were further advanced by the return of spring, 
so congenial to the Egyptian troops, while the besieged 
were hard pressed for want of provisions and stores. 
The last terrible assault was made on the 27th of May, 
after daybreak. The battle continued through the whole 
heat of the day, and it was not until the afternoon, when 
many hundred men had been killed in the breach, that 
the place was surrendered. 

From Acre Ibrahim marched to Damascus, which 
situated in a luxuriant valley, without any considerable 
fortifications, and entirely commanded from the heights 
of Salahieh was abandoned to him without firing a 
shot, the authorities having taken to flight. This city 
might have proved a new Capua to the general of the 
Egyptian troops; but Ibrahim, halting merely to re- 
plenish his commissariat stores, pushed on to Horns, 
where the Pasha of Tripoli had under his orders thirty 
thousand men, forming the vanguard of the Ottoman 


armies. Instead of waiting in Damascus until this 
army was increased by reinforcements from Aleppo, 
Asia Minor, and Mesopotamia, Ibrahim's decisive march 
to the north brought him into collision with a force, not 
only inferior in number, but inferior in that unity and 
organization which more than made up for the difference 
in personal valour between the private Egyptian Arab, 
and the more stubborn tenacity of the Osmanli Turk. 

It was at Horns, the first city on the road from Da- 
mascus to Aleppo, that the two armies met on the 8th 
of July, 1832. Ibrahim did not make the first attack ; 
but, placing his infantry in solid masses in the centre, 
with the cavalry and artillery at the wings, he awaited 
the assault of Mohammed Pasha of Tripoli, who ad- 
vanced in three columns. A well directed deadly fire 
of musketry and grape was opened on the Turks as soon 
as they were fairly within range ; and, four battalions 
of the Egyptian guard vigorously charging the centre 
with the bayonet before the Turks had recovered from 
their confusion, while at the same time the cavalry acted 
on the wings, the Turkish army was put to utter rout, 
by the simplest and most inartificial application of the 
rules of European warfare to a contest with commanders 
who had not the most distant idea of its rudiments. 

The victory was complete. The camp, the commis- 
sariat stores, the baggage, and the ammunition of the 
Turks, along with about two thousand prisoners and 
thirty-six guns, fell into the hands of the Egyptians, and 
the army of the Sublime Porte thus becoming an utter 
wreck, all Syria was placed at the feet of Ibrahim. 
A large proportion of the tribes of those curious coun- 
tries, attached to the Porte neither by the ties of na- 
tionality nor religion, gave their voice at once to the 
strongest ; and Ibrahim Pasha received letters of con- 
gratulation and verbal assurances of support, which 



would have been addressed to the Pasha of Tripoli had 
he been the victor on this decisive day. Even the 
remnant of the Turkish army was harassed and plun- 
dered by the Anazeh Arabs, a great tribe extending 
from the borders of Syria to Tadmor and the Euphrates. 
Aleppo, to which Hussein Pasha, commander-in-chief of 
the Ottoman armies, advanced from Asia Minor, shut its 
gates and refused him supplies, which compelled him to 
retire to the denies of the Taurus, while the Aleppines 
made no difficulty of receiving the victorious Ibrahim. 

Meanwhile, Hussein Pasha, the Turkish seraskier, 
encamped at the denies of Beylan, near Alexandretta, 
and fortified this passage from Syria into Asiq, Minor by 
several strong batteries. Ordinary skill and courage, 
joined to the strong position, might have given Ibrahim 
Pasha a severe check ; but the artillery of the Egyptians 
being better served, and the tried and confident troops 
carrying the heights at the point of the bayonet, the 
Turks again took to an ignominious flight. Henceforth, 
the opposition which the Turks made to Ibrahim was in- 
significant. They nowhere seriously held their ground ; 
and the Egyptian army, taking the high road to Con- 
stantinople, left the Taurus behind and advanced to 
Konieh, the chief city in the southern interior of Asia 
Minor. In the eyes of the Ottomans this place is 
invested with a semi-sacred character, from its having 
been before Broussa, Adrianople, and Constantinople 
the capital of Turkish power, and still containing the 
remains of the revered Mollah Hunkiar, with a univer- 
sity and mosques, associated with a religion considered 
orthodox, and such learning as the Ottomans possess and 
delight to honour. 

Beschid Pasha, who had successfully pacified Eou- 
melia, and who is not to be confounded with his greater 
namesake, the vizier of Turkish reform, was placed by 


the Porte at the head of its beaten and renewed its re- 
beaten and rawly-renovated armies, and opposed to 
Ibrahim Pasha, to whom prudence and courage had 
given victory, and to whom victory had added that 
confidence and experience which are the sure earnests 
of ulterior success. Under these circumstances, Konieh 
was the easiest of all the conquests of Ibrahim a victory 
without a battle, in which thirty thousand Egyptians 
drove nearly double that number of Turks before them, 
and menaced the Sultan in his capital. It was on a 
thick foggy morning, in the month of December, 1832, 
that the two armies met. Reschid bravely led his men 
into the thick of the fight; while the Egyptians were 
enabled by the Turkish cannonade to find out the posi- 
tion of their adversaries, their own guns remaining 
silent ; but he soon perceived that, in the fog, his 
Arnauts had failed to follow him. Bedouins near at 
hand, hearing a language they did not understand, took 
him prisoner. This event carried consternation into the 
Turkish ranks. The whole army of sixty thousand men 
took to flight, after a trifling loss on both sides. Ibra- 
him Pasha was thus master not only of Syria but of 
Asia Minor, which was the centre of the Turkish power 
and resources. So low had now sunk the sun of the 
great house of Orcan ; so potent had the vassal become 
in an empire suffering from oppressive foreign war, 
effete domestic institutions, and the fatal suicidal policy 
of France and England, who, on the disastrous day of 
ISTavarino, abandoned their natural ally to further the 
schemes of their natural rival. 

It is impossible to describe the consternation which 
was produced in Constantinople by the battle of Konieh, 
and the subsequent advance of the Egyptians. The 
Greek and Servian revolts, and the wars with Eussia, 
were aJl on the borders and outlying provinces of 


Turkey; but, if any part of the empire could "be con- 
sidered a citadel of the loyalty and nationality of the 
Ottomans, it was Asia Minor. Yet the sacred Konieh 
had seen the military disasters of the Sultan ; and 
Kiutahieh, a great stage nearer to the Bosphorus, was 
immediately after the head-quarters of Ibrahim, from 
which he menaced the capital. Nor was it either the 
power or the legitimate rights of the Sultan which 
stopped the advance of the Egyptians. The language 
of Mohammed Ali was haughty in the extreme ; and 
he informed the Porte that if the government of Syria 
as well as of Adana, which forms the south-eastern 
maritime province of Asia Minor, were not given him 
he would cause Ibrahim to march to Constantinople and 
enforce his demands. 

The fear of a collision with the European powers 
prevented Ibrahim from showing himself in the im- 
mediate vicinity of the capital. Russia, whioh had 
been chiefly instrumental in reducing Turkey to this 
state of weakness, was not prepared to see a total 
collapse of the Ottoman empire, which might have 
brought about some new and unforeseen arrangement 
subversive of her preponderating influence. She there- 
fore sent Prince Mouravieff to Alexandria, politely 
insisting on orders being sent to stop the march of 
Ibrahim. Eussia moreover contributed a military force, 
which landed in Turkey and encamped on the Bosphorus 
in order to ward off the contingency of an Egyptian 
attack on the capital. The other powers, without send- 
ing troops, held the same language; and, after some 
correspondence, an arrangement was at length made by 
which Mohammed Ali was confirmed in the government 
of Syria, and Ibrahim Pasha, in addition to being 
governor of the holy cities, was made, on the 3rd of 
May, 1833, mohassil, or collector of the revenues of 


Adana.. This final arrangement was made on the 14th 
of May, 1833, by the so-called Convention of Kiutahieh; 
and on the 15th of May the names of Mohammed AH 
and of Ibrahim Pasha appeared in the ofncial calendar 
of the Porte as the incumbents of those high charges, 
with which was included the governorship of the island 
of Candia. Thus a great part of the empire was 
virtually severed from its trunk, and a power aggran- 
dized that might at any time be turned against the 

The result of all this was the treaty of Unkiar 
Skelesi, concluded between Eussia and the Porte on 
the 26th June, 1833, which engaged the latter to shut 
the straits against the ships of war of all nations, by an 
article of a secret and segregarious character, which 
was justly considered, by the great powers of Europe, 
as inconsistent with that comitiai action on the most 
important questions of the European family by which 
the balance of power can be alone secured. The re- 
versal of this isolated policy at a later period carried 
the European influence of the Emperor Nicholas to its 
culmination ; but, unhappily for that monarch, its re- 
adoption precipitated him into an untimely grave, after 
the most galling humiliations. 




THE geographical configuration of Egypt has neces- 
sarily had much influence on its history. While Egypt 
is a plain, Syria consists chiefly of a couple of ranges 
of mountains, running parallel to the sea ; and while 
Egypt has always bent under the conqueror, Syria at 
first, on account of its intestine divisions, the easy prey 
of conquest, has always proved a troublesome acquisition 
in the sequel. Those infinite varieties of religion and 
nationality which facilitate the invasion of the country 
are monuments of the incompleteness of former subju- 
gations ; while the prominence of the feudal principle 
in the political divisions of Syria sprang from the same 
accidents of political geography. In vain did Turkey 
trace on the map boundaries of Pashaliks ; they re- 
mained pale and indistinct beside the bolder lines of 
feudal authority ; and it was not until all the trans- 
actions recorded in this history were terminated, that 
the provincial campaigns of Omer Pasha in Syria, in 
Koordistan, in Bosnia, and Albania, produced a more 
vigorous centralization of the administration of the Otto- 
man Empire. 

Mount Lebanon is the political key of Syria ; and as 



the possession of the citadel of Cairo was during many 
centuries held to be the visible sign of the command of 
Egypt, so the possession of Mount Lebanon is considered 
indispensible to a firm grasp of Syria, commanding as it 
does the access between Damascus, the luxurious chief 
city, and Acre, Sidon, Beyrout, and Tripoli on the coast. 

The external aspect of Lebanon is delightful to the 
sight of man. The base of the mountain is bathed by 
the waters of the Mediterranean, which for nine months 
of the year present a surface of unruffled azure ; and in 
this latitude even the storms of winter are few and far 
between. The palm and the orange grow luxuriantly 
on the low narrow strips of land, between the mountain 
and the sea ; further up, where the ground rises rapidly, 
we have as yet none of the savagery of mountain scenery : 
the vegetation of the fig, the vine, and the mulberry, is 
traced symmetrically terrace above terrace, like giant 
staircases ascending from earth to heaven. Numerous 
villages, hung on airy rocks, denote ages of insecurity, 
that have compelled the industrious inhabitants to leave 
the bounteous plains for the picturesque but more niggard 
region of the hills and fortresses. Further up where 
the climate is too cold for the temperate plants already 
mentioned, and more subject to the mist, the thunder- 
cloud, and the beneficent rain, the cedar and the 
Italian pine present a growth far beyond that of the 
scanty fir of our own " land of brown heath and shaggy 
wood ! " Highest of all the home of the eagle and her 
brood are the peaks of a Makmel or a Sanin, robed half 
the year in snow, and recalling the accurate felicity of a 
Yolney, or the music of a Moore winter crowning the 
heights, and summer sleeping at its feet. 

Such are the mountains of the Druses and Maronites ; 
but their nooks are not more sequestered from the 
dwellings of man than the faith of the former people is 


segregated from that of the Christian or Moslem. The 
Druses have a philosophy derived from that of the 
Karmates, those rude opponents of the present form of 
Islamism, who sought to allegorise its precepts, to 
establish a doctrine of internal sense, and to substitute 
metaphysical theories for stringent external formalities. 
The manners of the Druses, patent and -occult, were 
during several years one of the subjects studied by the 
author of this history, and have a prominent place in his 
work on the Modern Syrians. Their religion, long 
obscure, has been brought to light by the late erudite 
Baron Sylvestre de Sacy. 

The Deity, or rather the last and greatest imperson- 
ation of the divinity on earth, was a caliph of the 
Fatimite dynasty of Egypt, who was born at Cairo in 
the beginning of the eleventh century. Hakem b'emr 
Allah, as we have seen, was a fierce persecutor of the 
Christians and Jews, upwards of thirty thousand monas- 
teries in Egypt and Syria having been destroyed by his 
orders ; the synagogues of the Jews sharing the same 
fate. This monster was whimsical almost to madness, 
and cruel beyond anything recorded of ancient tyrants ; 
for upwards of eighteen thousand persons perished 
during his reign. A profuse generosity seems to have 
been almost his only virtue. 

The Druses to this day believe that Hakem was the 
last and most perfect of the manifestations of the Di- 
vinity ; and that next to the Deity is the Divine Idea, 
or Spirit of Universal Intelligence a sort of spurious 
" Holy Ghost" the first of all the creatures of God and 
His instrument in the creation of men and things, and 
of which Hamza was an incarnation. It is a prophet 
Hamza, not Hakem, who gives his name to the Druse 
era which is 408 of the Hegira, or A.D. 1033. The 
deluge was considered not to have been material, but an 


allegory having reference to the inundation of Islamism. 
Many doctrines have also been added in the course of 
ages since the death of Hamza. 

The modern Druses are divided into two classes, the 
Akkals and the Djahils the former initiated into the 
mysteries of the religion, and the latter uninitiated. 
The former live in great purity and simplicity, enjoy 
profound respect, and take precedence in all assemblies ; 
and the lives of the whole tribe are spent in politics, in 
agriculture, and, until latterly, in petty mountain war- 
fare. They are strangers to art, science, or commerce ; 
but the Druse women are all taught reading and writing. 
A most remarkable feature in their system is the pro- 
found mystery in which they seek to veil everything 
political and religious, and with considerable success ; 
for the greatest crime that a Druse can commit is to 
reveal a national secret. There is perhaps no nation in 
the world which carries the principle of mutual assist- 
ance and co-operation so completely into practice. 

Every one of the seven nobles who governed the 
corresponding number of districts in the mountains of 
the Druses might be compared to what the chiefs of a 
highland clan were at the beginning of the last century : 
with a loose allegiance to the Sovereign, and arbitrary 
power over the vassals, but with this difference, that 
the respect paid to the Akkals considerably tempered 
the exercise of arbitrary authority. Each chief gene- 
rally lived in a castle perched on a cliff, enclosed within 
massive walls, but not calculated to resist artillery. 
They led a rude life, surrounded by devoted retainers, 
in the practice of a simple hospitality, with falconry and 
jousting for recreation ; but agriculture and war were 
their serious occupations. The attachment of the Druses 
to their hereditary chiefs was enthusiastic, and did not 
extend to the Sultan until the advent of the Egyptians. 


On the contrary, they had no sympathy with the dig- 
nity, unity, and power of the Ottoman Empire, their 
chief object being to baffle the efforts of the Pasha of 
Sidon, always resident at Acre. 

The other populations of Mount Lebanon were chiefly 
Maronite a sect of Syrian Christians, united to Rome, 
although preserving their own primitive discipline. 
Their settlements are northward of the Druse country, 
in the direction of Tripoli and the cedars. Here, as in 
the middle ages, the power of the petty nobles was 
entirely subordinate to that of the clergy ; and like the 
Druses they had no attachment to the central govern- 
ment of the Sultan. 

The Prince of Mount Lebanon occupied a middle 
station between these chiefs and the Turkish Govern- 
ment. This dignity was occupied successively by the 
now extinct houses of Tanooh and Maan ; and about a 
century and a half ago came into the hands of the Beni 
Shehab a Moslem family from Mecca, which had been 
settled in Anti-Lebanon for several centuries. 

In days of yore, when the preponderance of the Druse 
over the Christian population was absolute, the immi- 
gration of the Christians for the cultivation of the land 
was much encouraged. The Christians took to the 
plough and pruning hook; the Druses stuck to the 
sword. While the Christians were fruitful and multi- 
plying their numbers, the increase of the ranks of the 
Druses was prevented by their deadly feuds ; and hence 
we see that now, in all the Druse districts except Shouf, 
the Christians form the majority. This, in itself, was 
an immense revolution, which was completed by the old 
Emir Beshir Cassim. This crafty man forsook Islam- 
ism, turned Maronite, persuaded the Emirs of Meten 
(the house of Belemma), with whom the Shehabs inter- 
marry, also to embrace Christianity, and by his talents 


and position formed a party which completely over- 
turned the Druse power. 

To the north of Mount Lebanon is another range of 
mountains, skirting the coast not so lofty, but more 
productive, particularly in that superior description of 
tobacco collected at the neighbouring port of Lattakia. 
This district remarkable for its natural beauty, and 
terminating in mount Cassius, at the mouth of the 
Orontes is inhabited by another of those anomalous 
sects, which, although historically related to Islamism and 
Christianity, are yet in doctrine and practice so widely 
different from both. Large masses of the Magians, in 
the origin of Islamism, accepted it only through fear 
and pro forma, but secretly kept up among themselves 
the rites and precepts of the older religions of Asia. 
Of these, the Nosairies and Ismaelis (the assassins or 
Hashasheen of the middle ages) regard Ali, the son- 
in-law of Mahomet, as an incarnation of the Divinity, 
and Mahomet only as a prophet. Abel and St. Peter 
are also supposed to have been previous incarnations 
of the Divinity, while Adam and Jesus were supposed 
to have been contemporary prophets. This people speak 
the Arabic language ; but yet, by faith, by manners, and 
by marriage, they remain quite distinct from the other 
races of Syria : and, as the tree is known by its fruits, 
their grovelling superstitions place them below every 
other tribe of this heterogeneous land in manners and 

These mountaineers were nominally under the Pasha 
of Tripoli ; but, crossing the Orontes, we come to 
Aleppo, the second city of Syria, and capital of the 
most northerly pashalik. Built with solidity, it had 
been for centuries the seat of a great overland commerce 
between India and Europe ; and in the reign of Charles 
II. upwards of fifty British houses were established in 

1 08 ALEPPO. 

Aleppo. There were also Venetian, Dutch, and French 
factories, which altogether formed a large European com- 
munity in the midst of the fanatic Moslem population. 
The total number of the inhabitants of the city had not 
been less than two hundred thousand souls. But in the 
eighteenth century the trade gradually declined : the 
British factory became extinct during the French revo- 
lutionary war ; and in the beginning of the nineteenth 
century we find the population reduced to considerably 
less than half of what it once had been. 

At this period the Moslem population of Aleppo was 
divided into two fierce factions the shereefs, or green- 
turbaned descendants of the Prophet, and the janissaries 
or military faction: the former, eminent for birth and 
wealth, being in a state of humiliation ; and the latter, 
at this period, enjoying full power. Just as with the 
Mamelukes before the French invasion, the Sultan's 
authority was represented by a pasha, who lent his seal 
to all public acts, while the real power was in the hands 
of the beys and agas, each of whom counted amongst 
his proteges, not only his immediate tail and some 
wealthy rayahs, but even the consuls of the European 
Powers ; for without some such intermediary no busi- 
ness could be transacted, nor redress for grievances 
obtained. Sometimes there was no pasha at all, but 
merely a muhassil, or collector, to receive and transmit 
the tribute. At length, in the eventful year 1815, 
Chapan Oglon was sent as Pasha to Aleppo. He resided 
at the villa of Sheikh Abu Bekr, outside the town ; and 
for some months after his arrival, no governor could be 
more popular, as he did not aim at the shadow of 
authority. At length, a rich caravan which had started 
for Constantinople was robbed, and two of the principal 
janissaries of Aleppo were known to be implicated in 
the affair. Chapan Oglan, in this instance, insisted on 


the necessity of the property being restored, or compen- 
sation being made ; otherwise the merchants would 
represent their case to the Porte, and might probably 
procure his recal. The majority of the other janissary 
chiefs desired to retain a pasha who interfered so little 
with their oligarchy ; and, as this business offered a fair 
excuse for assembling a meeting of the beys and agas, 
they repaired to the suburban palace of Abou Bekr. 
Suspecting nothing, they were accompanied by but few 
attendants. They were well received by the Pasha, 
who, after some discussion, went out of the room ; and, 
sending in the soldiers whom he had concealed in the 
adjoining apartments, the assembled chiefs, to the num- 
ber of thirty, were murdered in cool blood. Thus did 
the Porte get rid of the most formidable members of the 
old Janissary party. 

The great event in the history of Aleppo, immediately 
preceding the Egyptian occupation, was the earthquake 
of 1822, which, throwing down whole streets of houses, 
buried six thousand persons in their ruins a blow from 
which this solidly constructed city has not recovered. 

The largest and most important of all the pashaliks 
of Syria was that of Damascus, which then extended 
southward and eastward to the great desert, and in- 
cluded at that time Jerusalem, with the massive cyclo- 
pean relics of the great temple of the Hebrew Solomon, 
where the children of Israel still weep their dispersion ; 
with its Mount of Olives recalling the life and death of 
Christ, and its Byzantine architecture monuments of 
the great middle age fabric of the church, and of its 
arduous but unsuccessful enterprise, the crusades ; those 
pilgrimages of Latinity in buff and steel, with lance and 
mace, which the muse of a Tasso has reproduced in the 
most complete and harmonious of epics. Here Moslem 
pride still held its political supremacy ; and, in the light 


egg-dome and perfect lines of the mosque of Omer, Arab 
art continued boldly to challenge a comparison with the 
more stupendous but not more beautiful proportions of 
the most celebrated fanes of Christendom. 

Damascus, one of the four holy cities of the Moslems, 
was fixed upon by the Egyptians as the seat of the 
government of all Syria ; a locality well suited for this 
purpose, being nearly equidistant from the north and 
the south. Provisions were moderate in price, from the 
vicinity of the fertile grain-producing Hauran, the 
Auranitis of the ancients. Water, a first necessity in 
a hot country, is in overflowing abundance. The 
climate is mild, for the dense vegetation cools the air, 
and the construction of the houses (an uninterrupted 
tradition of the antique) aids in reducing the tempera- 
ture, while the fevers of autumn, although prevalent, 
are not deadly. Damascus was the seat of an ancient 
aristocracy of birth, deriving their incomes from the 
renowned Ager Damascenus, with its wide-spreading 
orange and apricot groves, watered by the seven arms 
of the Pharpar and Abana. This small society, in life 
and conversation, offered a complete contrast to the rude 
mountain chiefs of Lebanon, occupied with semi-barba- 
rous warfare and the sports of the field. The courtyards 
of these men, resplendent with mosaic, and cooled by 
the umbrageous orange, or spouting marble fountain, 
were frequented by the learned and pious doctors of 
Islamism. A numerous clientage seemed to confirm 
the Greek doctrine that it was better to be wealthy 
than to be wise, the latter being always found at the 
doors of the former. Many mosques of quaint native 
elegance still attest the liberality of this class, as well 
as capacious and lofty khans for the convenience of the 
stranger, the merchant, and the indigenous traveller. 

But the bulk of the inhabitants of Damascus were 


notorious for their turbulence and fanaticism, particu- 
larly those of a suburb called the Meidan the Fau- 
bourg St. Antoine of Damascus ; and when troubles 
arose, this populous suburb poured out its thousands 
of fanatical and sanguinary men into the town, who 
were as ready to overawe authority as to plunder their 
more peaceably disposed* fellow citizens within the gates. 
In fact, up to the period of the Egyptian invasion, the 
inhabitants thought themselves entitled to control an 
exorbitant Pasha ; and an occasional revolt and massacre 
was the little tacit saving clause in the compact that 
engaged them to respect the right divine of the Sultan 
to govern wrong. Indeed, one of the governors, named 
Selim Mohammed Pasha, on attempting an exaction, 
had been murdered by the mob, and his body dragged 
through the streets, shortly before the campaign of 
Ibrahim Pasha, which we described in the previous 
chapter. But no sooner did the Egyptians settle them- 
selves in this proud city, than it felt like the wild horse 
which first makes the acquaintance of rider and bridle. 
The conquest of Syria, and the advance of Ibrahim into 
the centre of Asia Minor, filled the Damascenes with 
astonishment. The Egyptian government used a rea- 
sonable courtesy towards the comparatively speaking 
wealthy aristocracy of this ancient city ; but to the 
general population their attitude was that of masters. 
The Egyptians were, nevertheless, hated and feared by the 
local influential families ; though the intelligent Christian 
population to a man gave their sympathies to a govern- 
ment that promised to give them protection against the 
ignominy and exactions that had pressed them down 
since the days of Mohammed. 

To organize the government of Syria, after the 
Egyptian conquest, was indeed no easy task ; the ma- 
jority of the population, not only indifferent to the 


Porte, but always ready to throw off the government of 
the day, were equally indisposed to submit tacitly to 
that pressure of taxation and conscription, and to that 
defenceless disarmament which would place a free and 
energetic people at the mercy of an unscrupulous ruler, 
bent on erecting a State quasi-independent of the Porte, 
and utterly indifferent as to the inconvenience and 
suffering it might occasion to the Syrians. But to pro- 
ceed at once with violent measures would have been to 
play the game of the Divan at Constantinople. The 
greater part of the first two years was therefore devoted 
to the acquisition of information ; to the discovery of the 
secret enemies of the Egyptians; to a consolidation of 
those alliances that might prove most convenient and 
serviceable ; and to an organization of the military de- 
fences, in the event either of local revolt, or of a capacity 
or disposition on the part of the Sultan to resume his 
own. In short, it was the superfluous wealth of Egypt 
that furnished the capital stock of resources at the outset 
of this adventurous Syrian speculation. 

Shereef Pasha, the near relation of Mohammed Ali 
possessed of considerable political capacity, distinguished 
by courteous and dignified manners, and in whom a 
kindly disposition in many things was mingled with 
occasionally deliberate and revolting cruelty was the 
Governor-general, with a large salary and emoluments. 
In the financial administration he was assisted by 
Hannah Bahri, a Syrian Christian, of singular energy 
and ability, whom the sagacity of Mohammed Ali had 
picked out of comparative obscurity, and who enjoyed 
the rare distinction of being elevated to the rank of a 
bey. The entire abnegation of the old spirit of Moslem 
fanaticism, with which Mohammed Ali and his son 
Ibrahim not only elevated but vigorously sustained such 
men, at once mark their superiority, and extract the 


tribute of the admiration of the historian. Bahri Bey 
being a Christian, the other members of the Council 
never rose at his entrance. This was the subject of a 
complaint to Ibrahim Pasha ; but, like a skilful courtier, 
saying nothing of the disrespect shown to his person, he 
laid all the stress on the disregard of the decoration on 
his breast, which was indicative of the rank given him 
by Mohammed Ali. Ibrahim Pasha a few days after- 
wards went to the divan. All the members rose ; and, 
before they were seated, Ibrahim said, " Bey, come 
here." Hafiz Bey, a Moslem, stepped forward, on 
which Ibrahim Pasha said, " No, Bahri Bey." Hafiz 
retired confounded ; and on Bahri Bey approaching, he 
said, "Buyuroon" be pleased to sit: to the rest of the 
council he added, " Otoor," which means simply "sit." 
Ever after this scene, the council rose to Bahri Bey. 

The Christians by their local knowledge, by the 
ramifications of their intelligence and correspondence 
with all parts of Syria, as well as by their aptitude for 
accounts and the details of the administration proved 
of invaluable service to the Egyptians. Nor was the 
government behindhand in substantial proofs of favour. 
The prohibition to wear light coloured turbans and 
garments, and to mount on horseback, was removed ; 
and the Frank costume, which no traveller ever dared 
to wear without considerable risk to his life, became 
his best protection. Disloyal and rebellious as Mo- 
hammed Ali was to his sovereign and benefactor, and 
oppressive as he was to the Syrians, it is impossible not 
to admit his tolerance. Colonel Campbell, our agent 
and consul-general in Egypt at this time, in a report 
on Syria, writes on this subject as follows : 

" The Syrian Mussulmans, whatever may be said of 
the diminution of their fanaticism, deeply deplore the 
loss of that sort of superiority which they all and 


individually exercised over and against the other sects. 
Pride, selfishness, and ignorance may be said to be the 
characteristics of a Mussulman ; and from the bottom 
of his heart he believes and maintains that a Christian, 
and still more a Jew, is an inferior being to himself. 
With such principles it is no matter of astonishment 
to remark that the political equality to which the other 
sects have been raised by the present government of 
Syria creates a sort of religious disaffection towards 
their rulers, which I am inclined to believe has more 
deep roots than all the other just motives of complaint 
which they possess. The Christians, as well as the 
other sects who have been benefitted by such changes, 
are necessarily attached to the present system, and 
dread any change that would tend to restore to the 
Mussulmans that supremacy of which they would cer- 
tainly make them feel the return into their hands. The 
condition of the Jews forms perhaps an exception, and 
cannot be said to have improved comparatively with 
that of other sects : this is owing to a personal feeling, 
both of Mohammed Ali and Ibrahim Pasha, as also of 
all the Christians and other sects in Syria, against them." 
Aleppo and its district was the object of the serious 
study of the military Ibrahim and the civilian Shereef. 
Its population had given the Porte a great deal of 
trouble, even after the massacre we have described in 
the earlier part of this chapter ; for although the heads 
of the janissary faction had been long taken off, the body 
itself remained, as well as the sons of those unfortunate 
individuals and the older chiefs of inferior note. The 
most influential man among them was an individual 
called Abdallah Babolsi, of low extraction, rough ex- 
terior, and destitute of education, but possessed of 
unbending energy, inflexible attachment to his own 
people, and generosity in pecuniary matters qualities 


which he used by turns to serve his friends and in- 
timidate his enemies. 

Able as Ibrahim Pasha was to crush any rising in the 
town, he was too politic not to avert the danger which 
would arise from the existence of a focus of disorder in the 
northern capital, situated but a few days from the Taurus. 
He therefore made Abdallah the Mutsellim ; and ap- 
pointed, at the same time, the Bey-el- Adlieh as head of 
the shereefs. On condition of Abdallah's keeping the 
canaille of the janissary faction in order, the Egyptians 
shut their eyes upon his system of protecting his own 
men; and the Bey-el-Adlieh, a man of ancient family, 
but dilapidated fortune (literally dilapidated, for before 
the earthquake he possessed whole streets of good 
houses), although not a shereef, was very popular, from 
his high character, with all. the parties. Superior to 
the Turks in military force, the Egyptians matched 
them in the policy which rules by division of factious 

It was in the north of Syria that the bulk of the 
Egyptian troops were generally quartered. Antioch, 
from its salubrious climate, its abundant forage for 
cavalry, and its beautiful situation, was a favourite 
residence of Ibrahim Pasha, who built here a palace and 
large barracks. The civil governor of the district of 
Aleppo was Ismael Bey; but the military and civil 
operations of the government were so mixed up that 
nothing was done without the approbation of the 
Seraskier, Ibrahim. Contiguous to the Pashalic of 
Aleppo, but forming part of Asia Minor, was the fertile 
but insalubrious district of Adana, with its capital 
of the same name, and its Tarsus, commemorated by 
St. Paul. Achmed Menikli Pasha, one of the bravest 
and most skilful lieutenants of Ibrahim, was the go- 
vernor of this district, which, being near the frontier, 


was treated with more mildness than those of Syria, 
the inhabitants having been allowed to retain their arms 
after they had been taken from all the other districts. 

To be brief, the two cities of Damascus and Aleppo, 
with their contiguous regions, presented no great diffi- 
culties to the Egyptian government, but this was not 
the case with the Pashaliks of Tripoli and Acre, in- 
cluding the turbulent mountain populations of Lebanon, 
to which we may add Nablouse, which latter belonged 
to Damascus. Up to the middle of 1834 none of the 
acts of the Egyptians tended to disclose the project of 
raising the taxes, or of conscription and disarmament. 
The only complaints made by the natives arose from 
vexatious acts committed by the Egyptian soldiery, and 
instances of sordid venality in the lower classes of the 
administration. It was on such pretexts that a rebellion, 
which soon became dangerous to the Egyptians, broke 
out at Salt and Karak, and, extending towards Jerusa- 
lem, compelled Ibrahim Pasha to shelter himself in this 
latter city. The son of Mohammed Ali was here secure ; 
for Jerusalem is encompassed with strong walls and 
contains a mixed population, most of whom are uncon- 
cerned spectators of the military struggles and politi- 
cal intrigues that from time to time distract the rest 
of Syria. This revolt soon gained ground in Samaria ; 
for, although amongst a remnant of the singular people, 
rivals to the Jews, and cognate in language, nationality 
and religion still linger within the precincts of the 
Sichem of the Samaritans, yet the mountainous district 
of the modern Nablouse is inhabited by the bold and 
energetic Moslem population who harassed the armies 
of Bonaparte in their march to and from Acre, and who 
rose vigorously to throw off the Egyptian yoke. 

In this anarchical crisis the severest sufferers were the 
Jews resident in Safet, the Medina of the Hebrews; 


who, attributing to that place a sanctity exceeded only 
by Jerusalem, had settled here in numbers, and were in 
easy circumstances. Attacked on the 16th of June by 
armed Moslems, their homes were violated, their pro- 
perty plundered, their women dishonored, and those who 
resisted murdered. For thirty-three days this wretched 
town was in the possession of these barbarians ; and the 
property lost or destroyed on the occasion by the Jews 
was estimated at not less than seventy thousand pounds 
sterling. The Christians of Syria, being more numerous, 
offered an effective resistance to the Moslems, who at- 
tempted to make them share the fate of the Jews of 
Safet; and at Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem, the 
attempts of the Moslems were unsuccessful. 

Mohammed Ali, who, with his known activity and 
presence of mind, had embarked at Alexandria with all 
the troops he could collect, and a large supply of money, 
landed at Jaffa, and soon gained over to his cause seven 
of the most influential chiefs. This union of craft with 
an imposing display of strength disunited the Syrians. 
The fierce mountaineers of Nablouse were prepared to 
resist, but the men of Hebron came to an accommoda- 
tion. At Zutah the brave Nablousans attempted to 
make a stand ; but the steady Egyptian columns and the 
well-pointed artillery put them at once to flight, and 
Mohammed Ali on the 15th of July made a triumphal 
entry into Nablouse, where all the arms were without 
difficulty surrendered. At the same time Salt and 
Karak, which attempted to resist, were carried by assault 
and partially destroyed. 

In the meanwhile other revolutionary movements had 
occurred in the Nosairi mountains. A regiment of regu- 
lar cavalry was attacked by four thousand Nosairies 
while marching from Lattakia to Aleppo, and forced to 
retreat, after losing about half of its men. The Nosairies' 


rebellious quoad the rebellious Egyptian government 
forced the port of Lattakia (whence the delicious tobacco 
of the neighbourhood is exported to all parts of the East), 
and immediately began to plunder the property of the 
government and of the Christians. The latter, however, 
had repaired on board their vessels, waiting the result 
of these events. The Egyptians sent a division of seven 
thousand regulars under the orders of General Selim 
Bey, who, with the assistance of eight thousand Druses 
and Maronites, commanded by the Emir Halil the brave 
son of the Emir Beshir, the Prince of mount Lebanon 
marched upon the stronghold of the Nosairies. Beaten 
and everywhere disarmed by the superior forces opposed 
to them, the Nosairies offered to capitulate through the 
medium of the Emir Halil; but Selim Bey having pre- 
sented such conditions as appeared of great hardship to 
the Emir Halil, this chief left the mountains of the 
Nosairies with his followers, and returned to Lebanon. 
While continuing to treat with Selim Bey, a large corps 
of Nosairies, anxious to revenge themselves upon the 
Druses for the part they had taken in favor of the Egyp- 
tians against them, followed Emir Halil rapidly in his 
retreat, overtook him in a defile, and killed many of his 
men. They then voluntarily submitted to Selim Bey ; 
and, giving up their arms, sent four thousand of their 
men to enter the ranks of the Egyptian army. Ibrahim 
Pasha distributed these among his guards, leaving a 
garrison of two thousand eight hundred men in the 
mountains, as a proof of his solicitude for their tran- 
quillity, as he expressed himself to them in his address. 

The rising in the northern and southern districts of 
the great mountain chain of Syria that runs parallel to 
the coast was then taken up as a pretext for disarming 
the internal towns of Damascus and Aleppo, as well as 
all the flat country, on the ground of their having had 


secret intelligence with the insurgents. This was ac- 
complished without difficulty; and thus all Syria was 
subdued and rendered powerless, except the important 
district of Lebanon the highest and central mountain- 
chain, which is the key of the whole land inhabited 
by a more warlike and energetic race than either the 
Moslems of Nablouse or the Nosairiei of mount Cassius ; 
and abounding in positions so difficult of access, that but 
for the circumstance of a large Christian population 
sharing the tenancy of this Syrian Switzerland, and the 
complication arising out of internal contests of authority 
between the Druse and the Christian element, it is much 
to be doubted if even Ibrahim Pasha, with all his vigour, 
could have succeeded. 

After the occupation of Syria, Ibrahim Pasha and the 
Emir Beshir had found out each other to be natural 
allies. The Egyptians were delighted to have for a con- 
federate the powerful and crafty prince of Mount Lebanon, 
and made sure that so long as he held by them, they 
had nothing seriously to fear in the interior of Syria. 
The Emir Beshir, who had long since secretly adopted 
Christianity, and leaned on the Christian element for 
abasing the Druse chiefs, was only too happy to close 
with any general authority in Syria that might leave 
him in possession of a decided supremacy. Thus the 
government of Syria and the Prince of Lebanon were 
united against their common enemy the Porte and its 
Druse partisans. We may also mention a circumstance 
of a personal nature which, if it did not create this 
alliance, certainly tended to lubricate the intercourse of 
the Emir Beshir with the government of Mohammed AH. 
On the Emir Beshir, a few years previously, visiting 
Egypt, he had been received with most flattering cour- 
tesy and gratifying splendour by this Pasha, who, 
whether as friend or foe, did nothing by halves ; and to 


whom we may reasonably attribute the foresight of con- 
tingencies in which the Emir Beshir might prove of 
signal utility. 

The decree of the Emir Beshir, for the disarmament of 
Mount Lebanon, was dated the 25th of September, and 
ran as follows : " His Highness Ibrahim Pasha, the 
Seraskier, having observed that many of the inhabitants 
of the mountains used their arms for criminal purposes, 
and as it is difficult to detect the malefactors, he has 
demanded the arms of the whole population ; wherefore 
the Emirs will use all their exertions to get them and 
send them to our palace." The decree concludes with 
enjoining a favourable reception of the troops of Ibrahim. 

Ibrahim Pasha having concerted with the Emir Beshir 
the means to be adopted for the disarmament, left Horns 
unexpectedly, and reached Baalbek on the 3rd October, 
1836 ; and, on the following night, surrounded with 
three regiments the district of Shouf, the chief seat of 
the Druses, while a fourth under Suleyman Pasha, 
moved from Beyrout upon Beteddim and arrived at the 
same time with Ibrahim Pasha. The Druses, taken by 
surprise and menaced with having their villages burnt, 
delivered up their arms. The Meten rose in revolt, but 
the heights being occupied by Ibrahim Pasha and Emir 
Halil, a surrender took place. On the ninth of October 
the disarmament of the Druses was completely achieved. 
The Christian population had been led to believe that 
they would be exempted from the decree, and therefore 
looked gleefully on whilst the Druse teeth were drawn ; 
but their own turn followed, and while they were at 
church on a Sunday morning, the officers of the Emir 
Beshir (mostly Christians) surrounded the villages, and 
the houses were ransacked for arms, many acts of atrocity 
being committed. 

It was thus that, in less than sixteen months the 


whole of the population of Syria was disarmed. More 
than eighty thousand muskets, and a large number of 
pistols, swords, and cutlasses were carried to the arsenal 
of Acre to be converted into horse shoes ; and in order 
effectually to extract the means of resistance from an 
unwilling people, each district was assessed in the num- 
ber of muskets to be given up, even although they had 
them to purchase for the occasion. 

No sooner was Syria disarmed and thus deprived of 
the power of revolt, than Mohammed AH, not content 
with so negative a success, resolved to render Syria an 
active element in his career against the Ottoman Empire, 
which a hollow peace masked for the moment. But how 
miserable did the means employed defeat his ultimate 
objects ! The conscription set on foot by him supplied 
him with a class of soldiers far superior in moral and 
physical vigour to those of Egypt ; but their sympathies 
were not with him, and the mode of the conscription 
created feelings of exasperation far more intense than 
those of the disarmament. The rusty rifle that hung on 
the wall was often readily given up ; but the rending 
of family ties was intolerable from its mode of operation. 
The sorrows of the European father, even in the ease of 
wounds and death, are assuaged by the consciousness 
of a service rendered to the lawful sovereign ; but this 
was not so in the case of the conscription among the 
Syrian Moslems, whose hearts were with the Sultan and 
with Islamism. 

The mode in which the conscription was carried on 
added greatly to the horror that was felt against it. 
Thus, if ten or twenty soldiers were wanted from a 
given place, a hundred or a hundred and fifty persons, 
who appeared of age for the service, were indiscriminately 
seized in the streets, and indeed anywhere, by the agents 
of the government, and carried to a public building. 


There those that had money soon found the means of 
liberation, by bribing the inferior agents ; and families 
of the poorer classes would sell their last rags in hope 
of obtaining the same benefit in favour of their relations. 
After some days' detention, during which the subaltern 
officers would resort to every subterfuge in their power 
to extort from the prisoners or their relations the last 
para, the number wanted for the army was marched off 
to the depot and the rest set at large, deprived of nearly 
all they possessed. Thus the ultimate benefit received 
by the government was small in comparison with the 
injury inflicted on the people. The tax of blood was the 
least evil. Impoverishment, with vague apprehensions 
of the next levy, weighed down the spirits of the people ; 
and later, in the hour of conflict, Syria was lost to Mo- 
hammed Ali, not more by the arms of the Sultan and his 
allies, than by a revolt which made the whole land rise 
as a huge wave throwing off an incubus. 

Another of the evils unavoidable in a state of war 
was the seizure of animals for transport. The army 
which Mohammed Ali was obliged to keep up in order 
to sustain his false position, being far beyond what the 
Syrians had been accustomed to, and beyond the scanty 
resources, of a depopulated country, the most serious 
disturbance of the ordinary commerce took place, No 
merchant could count with certainty upon carrying his 
goods to a port. In the midst of a journey, a whole 
caravan would be seized, and the goods left on the ground 
at the mercy of the elements; while even the rumour 
of an approaching seizure would scare from a seaport 
and retain in the mountains the animals wanted for 
the transport of commodities. These proceedings consti- 
tuted in themselves a heavy tax on the produce of 
Syria, a country which was particularly deficient in the 
abundance and excellence of those raw products by 


which the manufactured goods imported could be paid 

In order to counteract the deficiency of produce, and 
render Syria independent of other countries for supplies 
of grain as well as other growths suited to the climate, 
a forced cultivation was resorted to by Ibrahim Pasha, 
who embarked money in the enterprise, and made his 
officers take shares in it. But that natural and spon- 
taneous development which follows zealous and skilful 
private enterprise did not result from the efforts of the 
Pasha. Agricultural prosperity, like the individual ear 
of corn, grows better by care and industry, but must 
after all grow^ and cannot be fabricated by the mere 
force of governmental will. 

Sometimes the inversions of economical science by the 
government partially wrought their own cure, the exac- 
tions of labour having led to a sort of protective combi- 
nation among workmen. The authorities being in the 
habit of seizing a certain number of hands, to whom 
they paid wages much beneath the regular rate, this 
naturally raised the price of all non-governmental labour ; 
and the consequence was that the labourers formed them- 
selves into communities for mutual assurance against the 
loss accruing from deficient government pay, by an 
average eked out of the higher private labour ; the whole 
system being substantially a tax on the general em- 
ployer, and an additional drain on the general resources, 
for objects foreign to the general interests. 

The immediate result of this irregular and violent 
appropriation of labour and personal liberty was an ex- 
tensive emigration into Asia Minor and Mesopotamia, 
which was in some measure made up by a corresponding 
emigration from Turkey proper, when the conscription 
was instituted by the Sultan. But this severe and op- 
pressive government managed to establish a much more 


regular system of police than had previously existed; 
and the tribes of the desert, who used to press on the 
cultivated land and commit depredations were, by a com- 
bined system of hire for military purposes and of terror 
of vengeance, kept in good order. The conqueror of the 
armies of the Sultan certainly made himself feared by 
the tribes of Syria ; and the result of the salutary terror 
which he inspired was that in only a few cases was it 
found necessary to resort to capital punishment in the 
later years of the rule of Mohammed Ali ; and, except 
when tribes were in open revolt, Syria became as safe for 
the traveller as the countries of Europe. 

Nevertheless the conscription, the disarmament, and 
the supercession of the influence of the wealthy Moslems, 
were fatal to all real stability of the Egyptian rule in 
Syria. The government was treading on a smothered 
volcano. It was not that the Syrians could either under- 
stand or enjoy the liberty of some European countries ; 
but the pressure of the functionaries being unrestricted, 
the exasperation made the country ready to rise. The 
Egyptian bent under the yoke ; but the Syrian was by 
character recalcitrant and rebellious. Egypt produced a 
large revenue; but Syria, with its scantier population 
and means, ingulphed the surplus from the wealthier 
valley of the Nile, and those very Syrian populations 
that offered no obstacle to the expulsion of the authori- 
ties of the Sultan, were generally ready to rise and cast 
off the heavier pressure of the Pasha's rule. 




THE principal Syrians, too wary to commit themselves 
in collision with the authority of the stern and relentless 
Ibrahim, were yet far from having accepted the Egyptian 
rule as an accomplished and indefeasible fact, or from 
doubting that in the long run the permanent system of 
the Porte would efface the accident of a revolt by a 
Pasha, howsoever gifted with military and political 
genius. The probable future was divined by the light 
of all the past history of Turkey. Accounts of these 
feelings of the Syrians were constantly sent to the Sultan, 
and kept alive in the breast of this vigorous- willed, but 
ill-fated, sovereign the determination to try once more 
his imperial strength with his haughty subject. 

Prominent among those who instigated the Sultan to 
war was Hafiz Pasha, a Circassian of handsome person 
and polished manners, who, in those days of decadence 
and treachery, united honesty and fidelity with great 
personal bravery and activity ; but certainly was defi- 
cient in the strategic genius and experience in directing 
large masses of troops, which was needed to enable him to 
cope with the Egyptian commander and his able French 
Adjutant-General. Mohammed Ali was absent from 
Egypt during the winter of 1838-9, having undertaken, 
notwithstanding his advanced years, a journey to the 
distant regions of Sennaar, in order to satisfy himself of 
the gold production of that district ; and this was con- 


sidered a favourable opportunity for making the prelimi- 
nary preparations, with a view to striking a blow either 
before or soon after his return. 

Accordingly, in January, 1839, councils of war were 
held at the Porte, a levy of 80,000 men was ordered, 
and much movement was visible at the Seraskierate. 
On this, the diplomatists at Constantinople most favour- 
able to the Porte took the alarm ; and, sharing in neither 
the sanguine illusions of Hafiz, nor the impatient unap- 
peasable exasperation of Mahmoud, foresaw that events 
were approaching which might shake the empire to its 
centre; for up to this date no concert had been esta- 
blished among the great Powers in order to avert those 
fatal contingencies. A wide gulf still separated the 
policy of France, of Britain, and of Austria, from that of 
Eussia, with its exclusive pretensions and its isolated 
pressure on the Ottoman empire. It was, therefore, 
feared, not without reason, that the impatience of the 
Sultan might precipitate that finally destructive crisis 
in the affairs of Turkey which it was the anxious desire 
of the great majority of the Powers of Europe to avert. 

The representative of Great Britain at the Porte at 
this period was Viscount Ponsonby, one of the most re- 
markable diplomatists of his age. His personal appear- 
ance at once created a predisposition in his favour, being 
both venerable and aristocratic. TJ the courtesy of the 
perfect man of the world he united great firmness and 
high integrity. He had been a spectator of all the 
remarkable European events since the first French re- 
volution ; and although, in youth, a member of Parlia- 
ment, and by habit and connection a supporter of Mr. 
Fox, he in mature age had none of those superficial 
views on foreign affairs which have beset many of the 
well-meaning and philanthropic members of the Liberal 
party in England. With the sound sense of a Briton, 


he preferred a bird in the hand to two in the bush ; and 
conceived that amicable relations with Turkey and 
Austria were better securities against the ambition of 
Russia than any revolutionary combinations arising out 
of the disruption of the integrity of those two empires. 
He justly conceived that the attitude of Mohammed Ali 
in Syria was pro-Russian, because it was anti-Turkish ; 
but he judiciously opposed the indiscreet zeal of those 
who, by inadequate efforts, would expose the Porte to 
still further defeats and humiliations. 

A great council was held at the Porte on the 22nd of 
January, 1839, in order to discuss the question of peace 
or war with the Egyptians ; and thereafter measures 
were taken on a large scale for arraying an imposing 
force to be employed against Mohammed Ali. Eighty 
thousand men were ordered to be levied, in addition to 
the force already under arms. Unfortunately, the means 
at the disposal of the Sultan were by no means commen- 
surate with his fierce aspirations to a vindication of his 
sovereign rights against his wily and powerful satrap ; 
and the emptiness of the treasury compelled the govern- 
ment to continue monopolies which had been condemned 
not only by the maxims of a sound commercial policy, 
but by positive compacts ratified by Britain and the 
Porte. In an interview which Sultan Mahmoud had 
with Viscount Ponsonby, the latter strongly recom- 
mended the greatest prudence in his conduct, and said 
that " his Highness could not at this moment have suf- 
ficient grounds on which to form a sound judgment of 
his position.'' The Sultan thanked the ambassador for 
his communication, and without altering his policy, 
renewed the assurances previously given that he would 
do nothing precipitately. 

The other diplomatic ministers held the same language, 
but the great office-bearers in the intimate counsels of 


the Sultan, although far from fully sharing in either his 
deep-seated resentment or buoyant confidence in success, 
yet, with true oriental sycophancy, explored the current 
of their master's wishes, and did not dare to risk his 
displeasure by an uncourtly frankness on the doubtful 
chances of the coming conflict. 

Mahmoud at length resolved on war, and a message 
was sent to the Great Council to the following purport : 
" Hafiz Pasha informs me that my army is able to defeat 
the Egyptian army in Syria. The Capudan Pasha tells 
me that my fleet is strong enough to defeat and destroy 
the Egyptian fleet. It remains for you to be courageous 
and do your duty." To this Hati-Sherif the Great Council 
returned for answer, ' that his Highness's ministers would 
do everything in their power to act in conformity with 
the pleasure of their master." The brave, courteous, 
and sanguine Hafiz had perseveringly inflamed the ardent 
imagination of the Sultan by representations that there 
would never be again so favourable an opportunity for 
driving the Egyptians out of Syria. These, concurring 
with an opinion expressed by Eesehid Pasha, then on a 
mission to Paris and London, that active hostilities for 
the Sultan against Mohammed Ali were not to be ex- 
pected from France and Britain, decided the final resolu- 
tions of the Sultan. 

The period has not yet arrived for a thorough pene- 
tration of the views of the British government at that 
period ; but there appears to be little doubt that the 
apprehension of a renewal of the direct interference of 
Eussia on the northern frontiers of Turkey prevented at 
this time active assistance being given to the Porte, 
however fully sensible the British government may have 
been of the danger and evil of Mohammed Ali's position 
in Syria. There was, between Viscount Palmerston and 
Eesehid Pasha, some question of a treaty securing the 


eventual interests of the Porte in such, a way as to induce 
the Sultan to abstain from immediate, hasty, and adven- 
turous action ; and Viscount Ponsonby entered therefore 
into communication with Nouri Effendi, the Turkish 
Minister for Foreign Affairs, who, however, expressed 
himself convinced that no treaty would be of any use to 
the Porte which had not for its object the destruction of 
Mohammed Ali. The Sultan at the same time declared 
to the Austrian internuncio that the terms on which he 
would arrange the matter could be nothing less than the 
evacuation of Syria by Mohammed Ali, and the reduction 
of his forces to such a number as would be compatible 
with his condition as a subject. 

Mohammed Ali himself, on his return from Sennaar 
in March, was equally indisposed towards an accommo- 
dation. Abbas Pasha, his grandson, who was intrusted 
with the government of Egypt during the absence of 
Mohammed Ali, had been alarmed by the reports received 
from Constantinople of the warlike preparations of the 
Sultan, and wrote to press the return of the Viceroy to 
Cairo. Shortly afterwards a circular was sent to the 
consuls-general and agents in Egypt, throwing the respon- 
sibility of these complications entirely on the Sultan, and 
announcing the determination to oppose force by force. 
A copy of this communication having reached the Sultan, 
he was highly exasperated, and issued orders to hasten 
the equipment of the fleet and press the despatch of 
troops and military stores to the army. Mahmoud said 
that he would rather die than not endeavour to destroy 
his rebel subject ; while the language of those about the 
Sultan was, " We hope for success, because all the 
Syrians are enemies of the Pasha.'' Viscount Ponsonby 
wrote home on the 20th May, "Nobody here doubts of 
war, and the general opinion is that the army of the 
Sultan will be defeated." 




IN Syria, Ibrahim Pasha displayed his well-known 
activity in preparing for the storm. Conscripts, nolentes 
volentes, were seen manacled, in motion towards the army, 
upon the high road between Damascus and Aleppo; 
great quantities of biscuit and other commissariat stores 
were collected in Aleppo for the use of the troops ; and, 
in the end of April, rumours having reached him that 
the Sultan's troops had crossed the Euphrates, Ibrahim 
immediately held a council of war in Aleppo, which was 
his headquarters at this period in consequence of its 
large resources and its vicinity to the northern frontier. 

At the council it was determined to concentrate the 
troops, and couriers were sent in all directions in order 
to bring them together. On the Sultan's side the troops 
crossed the river very slowly, the Euphrates being very 
high on account of the April floods, and only seven 
barges having been found in the neighbourhood of Bir, 
to which place the troops had been drawn from Orfa, 
Diarbekir, Malatia, and other places in Asia Minor, 
Kurdistan, and Mesopotamia. 

In the first days of May, every mosque, khan, and 
public building in Aleppo was crammed full of Egyptian 
troops ; and at the same time, in order to overawe the 
disaffected Moslem population in Damascus and Tripoli, 
the Emir Beshir received instructions to have large 
Christian forces in the environs of those cities, prepared 


to nip in the bud any appearance of outbreak in the 
interests of the Sultan. Thus Ibrahim Pasha, compelled 
to cast an eye to the rear as well as to the front, had 
need of all his craft and of all his physical force; for 
even the Arabs to the east of the Jordan were in motion, 
not daring to enter into overt or forward hostilities, but 
fully on the alert to join the winning party and make 
their harvest out of the fallen. The Druses of the 
Hauran were still more certain to rise. Close to its 
fertile plains, which are the granary of Damascus and 
in which extensive ruined cities, with countless still- 
standing columns, attest the wealth and population of the 
Auranitis of the ancients is the Ledgea, less favoured by 
nature, but from accidents of surface an easier harbour 
for the troublesome. The Druse population of this 
district, under the well-known leader Shibly, "the 
naked," had opposed a most obstinate resistance to 
the Egyptian projects of taxation and conscription ; but 
although this chief, yielding to superior force, had made 
his peace with Egypt, and gave them an unwilling sup- 
port, the people were to a man ready to rise. 

Those under the immediate hoof of Ibrahim were more 
wary in committing themselves for the Sultan. Ismael 
Pasha, of the Ottoman army, having written to the mus- 
selim of Aintab that the Turkish troops were advancing, 
and " that he was to get everything ready for them, as 
he made no doubt of his fidelity to the Sultan," this 
municipal officer mounted his horse, and, going to 
Aleppo, placed the letter in Ibrahim Pasha's hands, who 
having read it, desired the musselim to return to his 
post and let them write what they liked, for he was his 
musselim and had nothing to fear. 

The accumulation of so many troops in Aleppo pro- 
duced much temporary inconvenience, the requisition of 
provisions for the army being so great that even bread 


could not be obtained in the bazaar. One day Ibrahim 
Pasha called Atdallah Babolsi, the musselim, or mayor, of 
Aleppo, and required of him a guarantee for the security 
and tranquillity of the town of Aleppo during his absence. 
The musselim replied, " If your Highness will leave me 
four or five thousand troops, I remain responsible that 
during the time you are in the camp everything remains 
in the greatest quietness here." The public report among 
the Christians of the town was that the population was 
very disaffected, and that, in the event of Ibrahim Pasha 
meeting with a repulse, a rising would ensue. 

The amount of the Sultan's forces was about 80,000 
men, of whom 25,000 were Bashi-Bazouks, or irregular 
horse militia a force at one time constituting a formid- 
able part of the Ottoman armies, the men being well 
mounted, and possessing the impetuous qualities of the 
Turk and of the Kurd. Since, however, the introduc- 
tion of the European art of war into the military organi- 
zation of Turkey, it is doubtful whether the presence of 
the Bashi-Bazouks is not more pernicious than useful 
their disorderly and marauding habits neutralising the 
services they render in the forage, the skirmish, and the 
reconnaissance. Supported by a numerous artillery, this 
force was numerically more than a match for the forces 
at the disposal of Ibrahim ; but the experience of the 
Egyptian commander, aided by the advice and assistance 
of the French Suleyman Pasha, more than made up for 
the difference in the number of troops. 

The Egyptian Seraskier, learning that Hafiz Pasha 
had taken up a position close to Nezib, and that a con- 
siderable skirmish had taken place between the Bashi- 
Bazouks of the Sultan and the Bedouin cavalry of the 
Egyptians at Telbashir, ordered the advance of his troops 
from Aleppo, which was carried into effect on the 31st 
May, 1839. 


The Ottoman position situated at Mezar, south-west 
of Nezib, being too strong, from its heights, to be 
stormed in front, was turned by a flank movement 
so as to come on the camp of the Turks, which was in 
three lines the two first of infantry and the third of 
cavalry. The artillery consisted of 140 pieces, and the 
troops on each side amounted to about 40,000 men ; so 
that, notwithstanding the larger force under the com- 
mand of Hafiz Pasha, the superior organisation of the 
Egyptians enabled them to make proportionally a more 
effective concentration at the decisive point. The ground 
of the Turkish camp was not badly chosen, that to the 
left of the Ottoman camp being very uneven, which 
rendered the battle in that direction very disadvantageous 
to the Egyptian army. 

Hafiz Pasha having been informed that several 
regiments of Syrians intended to pass over from the 
Egyptian to the Turkish ranks, opened a fire of shells 
on the Egyptian camp at eleven o'clock on the night of 
the 23rd of June. Eour batteries of howitzers were 
carried forward in the silence of the night to within a 
short distance of the Egyptian camp, which soon became 
a scene of disorder and confusion. But Ibrahim and 
Suleyman Pashas lost no time in mounting their horses ; 
and although several hundred Syrians passed into the 
Turkish lines, yet the activity which Suleyrnan Pasha dis- 
played prevented a greater number of fugitives from leav- 
ing the camp. These indications of the hollowness of his 
own position, however, showed to Ibrahim Pasha the 
necessity of striking a decisive blow by a general 

In consequence of this resolution^ the Egyptian army 
was under arms at daybreak, and a division in six 
columns was directed against the rear of the Ottoman 
camp. The first column consisted of sixty guns, 


followed by twenty-four battalions of infantry, while 
nine regiments of cavalry forming the fifth and sixth 
columns brought up the rear. The intention of Suleyman 
Pasha, to whom is due the conception and manipulation 
of the manoeuvre, was to form an oblique line on the left 
of the Turks ; and, to prevent his troops being broken in 
their traverse movement, he had filled up the intervals 
of his columns next the Turks with extra infantry, 
in order to form an unbroken line if taken in flank. 
Approaching the village of Nezib, which poured a well- 
directed fire of artillery on the Egyptians, Suleyman Pasha 
made his troops turn left-face in order to take the Otto- 
mans in flank. At this moment a sharp cannonade took 
place between the two armies ; but the Egyptian artillery, 
which fired very rapidly, having exhausted its ammuni- 
tion was obliged to slacken its fire. At this critical 
moment the right of the Egyptians had already given 
way, and a European staff officer of Hafiz Pasha advised 
him to march with the bayonet against the Egyptians ; 
but, whilst Hafiz Pasha hesitated, Suleyman Pasha, 
assisted by his aides-de-camp, sword in hand forced the 
fugitives to reform in line under the deadly fire of the 
Turkish artillery. 

The cartridges for the cannon of Ibrahim Pasha having 
arrived, the Egyptian grape-shot again began to play' 
and the Bashi-Bazouks of Hafiz fled in the greatest dis- 
order. The Turkish commander and his staff-officers fell 
upon the fugitives sword in hand, to compel them to 
return ; but the terrible fire of Egyptian grape made a 
rally impossible, and the Turkish troops, who had begun 
the contest without confidence, gave it up in despair. 
The army of the unfortunate Hafiz began now rapidly to 
melt away. A large body of infantry, which, during the 
action, had shown coolness and courage, left the field of 
battle, throwing away a great number of muskets ; and 


the Turkish cavalry, which, by the bad generalship of 
Hafiz, had remained useless and unaiding spectators 
of the fray, were swept backwards, and carried along by 
the ebbing tide of Bashi-Bazouks. 

Such was the disastrous battle of Nezib. The Turkish 
army left on the field more than a hundred pieces of 
artillery, besides its camp, baggage, and ammunition, 
only the military chest being saved. The number of killed 
and wounded Turks was estimated at four thousand, and 
the number of Egyptians at three thousand, in round 
numbers; but the actual loss of the Turkish commander 
was incalculable, and the army of the Sultan may be said 
to have ceased to exist a demoralised and disorganised 
rabble, destitute of artillery, commissariat, and baggage, 
having preceded and accompanied Hafiz Pasha in his 
retreat to Marash. 

Sultan Mahmoud did not live to learn the issue of his 
great venture against the most formidable of his vassals. 
Five days after the battle of Nezib, and several days 
before the intelligence of the disaster reached Constan- 
tinople, he breathed his last. " It is evident," writes 
Viscount Ponsonby on the occurrence of this event, 
" that the disease had existed many months. He was 
not aware himself of his situation, so that he continued 
to do everything calculated to hasten a catastrophe. He 
went off at last rapidly. It is astonishing how much and 
how generally he is lamented. It is not when a man is 
dead, and no longer the dispenser of rewards and punish- 
ments, that the voice of flattery is raised. It, therefore, 
is reasonable to believe that a man so lamented was 
really esteemed when alive. It is certainly the greatest 
loss the rayahs could surfer. He always protected them, 
and even at the expense of offending his own people. 
He had great qualities derived from nature. He had 
great views for the country he governed ; but he stood 


alone, and could not find instruments to do the work well 
he desired to have performed." 

Such was the most remarkable of the later sons of 
Orchan, who sunk into the tomb utterly exhausted by 
fierce resentments, corroding disappointments, and ex- 
cesses of dissipation which prematurely undermined a 
physical constitution originally vigorous. 

In contemplating the career of such a man, a tinge of 
melancholy passes over the mind; for Mahmoud was a 
truly remarkable man, and in his efforts to make the 
empire renew its youthful vigour, he underwent the toil 
of spring, the heat and burden of summer, but did not 
receive the rewards of autumn. 




EQUALLY fatal to the Sultan were the events of which 
the Mediterranean was the theatre. The Ottoman fleet, 
which had been fitted out at a great expense, was in- 
trusted to the command of a man whose character was 
disfigured by defects of a more serious kind than those 
of the unskilful but faithful Hafiz. The stigma of the 
darkest perfidy can never be effaced from the name of 
Achined Fevzi, Capitan Pasha, or Iligh- Admiral of the 
Turkish fleet. The sombre veil that still covers the 
secret relations of this disreputable officer with the 
agents of Mohammed Ali has not yet been rent; but 
acts and facts compel us to infer that the naval officer to 
whom Mahmoud intrusted his fleet must have been tam- 
pered with by the Pasha of Egypt. 

On the 9th of June the fleet left the Golden Horn for 
the Dardanelles, where it remained at anchor. On the 
morning of the 4th of July the Capitan Pasha received 
the official notification of the death of Sultan Mahmoud. 
The accession of his son, the Sultan Abdul Medjid, 
mingled the signs of rejoicing with those of mourning. 
All the ships of the fleet were dressed with flags, and 
fired a royal salute; and in the afternoon of that day 
they weighed anchor and stood out of the Dardanelles 
the fleet comprising eight ships of the line, twelve 


frigates, . one corvette, four brigs, two schooners, three 
fire-ships, and one steam-vessel. 

As the fleet had been for a long time under orders for 
the coast of Syria, all the officers supposed that to be 
their destination. But, on arriving in Besika Bay, the 
Capitan Pasha informed Captain Walker, a most able 
British naval officer then attached to the Ottoman fleet, 
that the Sultan had been poisoned, and four of. the prin- 
cipal officers of his household beheaded; that this had 
been done by the Eussian party, who had assumed the 
government ; and that, to prevent the fleet from falling 
into the hands of Eussia, he intended to cruise outside 
the Dardanelles, so as to be ready to act with England 
and France. When off Tenedos, the fleet fell in with 
the French Admiral Lalande, whose force consisted of 
two ships of the line and a brig. After the usual 
salutes had been exchanged, the French Admiral, accom- 
panied by the Prince de Joinville, came on board to visit 
the Capitan Pasha. 

The Turkish Admiral, evidently uneasy in conscience, 
had sent a message to the French Admiral, through one 
of his officers, with the same story of the Sultan having 
been murdered by the Eussian party, to which he added 
the statement that he proposed to go to Candia, Ad- 
miral Lalande pointed out that Candia was in the hands 
of Mohammed Ali, and that to take the Ottoman fleet 
there would be to deliver it up to that Pasha. He, how- 
ever, said that he had no orders to interfere by force with 
the movements of the Ottoman fleet. In continuance of 
his system of duplicity, the Capitan Pasha afterwards 
informed Captain Walker that he had communicated all 
to the French Admiral, who highly approved of his 
plans ; and that he (the Capitan Pasha) intended to 
proceed to Ehodes. Captain Walker then requested 
that he might be allowed to send letters on board of 


the Vanguard, a British ship of the line then in sight, so 
that the British ambassador and admiral might be made 
acquainted with his intentions; but the Capitan Pasha 
replied that the French Admiral had promised to com- 
municate all particulars to them. 

Nothing of consequence occurred during the run down 
to Ehodes, except the departure of the Kiahya Bey on 
the 6th July, who separated from the fleet ostensibly to 
communicate with Hafiz Pasha by Tarsus or Scanderoon, 
but in reality to concoct the betrayal of the fleet with 
Mohammed Ali. Accordingly, on the morning of the 
12th, the Egyptian steamer-of-war, the Nile, joined the 
fleet, having on board the Kiahya Bey on his return 
from Alexandria. He communicated with the Capitan 
Pasha, and in the afternoon the fleet made sail to the 
southward, accompanied by the Egyptian steamer. On 
the morning of the 13th, the Vanguard parted com- 
pany ; and so anxious was the Capitan Pasha to get to 
the southward, that he carried such a press of sail as 
obliged him to leave behind a line-of-battle ship and 
frigate which were bad sailers. The approach of the 
Nile steamer to those ships, with orders to rendezvous off 
Alexandria, was the first intimation Captain Walker 
received as to the Capitan Pasha's intention of proceed- 
ing there. When the British officer spoke to him on 
the subject, he told him that he had received by the 
Kiahya Bey a letter from Mohammed Ali, who offered 
to put the Egyptian fleet under his command ; but, 
before doing so, he wished to consult with him as to 
the best steps to be taken for the good of the Turkish 
empire, and that he meant to proceed off Alexandria for 
that purpose. On the following day, the 14th of July, 
they fell in with the Egyptian fleet, consisting of eleven 
ships of the line, three frigates, and two brigs, which 
were cruising about ten miles off Alexandria; and so 


ignorant were the Turkish admirals and captains of the 
change in the Capitan Pasha's plans, that many of the 
ships cleared for action. 

It was at four o'clock in the afternoon that the Turk- 
ish fleet became distinctly visible to the astonished people 
of Alexandria ; and, on the following morning, Mohammed 
Ali was looking at the fleet, separated by a short distance 
from his own, while the Nile steamer was seen nearer 
the shore standing for the port, with the Capitan Pasha's 
flag at the main, and his barge towed astern by the 
steamer. At nine o'clock the Nile entered the western 
harbour, and immediately Hussein Pasha, Mohammed 
Ali's first secretary, was sent from the palace in the 
Pasha's own boat to meet him and bring him on shore. 
After anchoring, a salute of nineteen guns, fired by the 
Nile, was returned by the forts the moment he landed. 
He was then received by the Pasha's high officers, and, 
mounting the Pasha's own horse, rode to the palace 
situated on the rocky peninsula that embraces the har- 
bour, preceded by janissaries, with files of troops posted 
on each side all the way. 

As soon as he entered the palace gate, Mohammed Ali 
went out of his room to meet him ; and the admiral, 
seeing him, unbuckled his sword, gave it to one of the 
officers behind him, and, walking respectfully towards 
the Pasha of Egypt, bowed to the ground, as if meaning 
to kiss his dress, while Mohammed Ali embraced and 
kissed him, saying, "Welcome, brother!" After this, 
they walked arm-in-arm into the Pasha's room, all the 
officers following them. They sat near each other on 
the middle of the sofa, the Capitan Pasha telling Mo- 
hammed Ali that for a long time past it had been his 
wish to have the honour of seeing him. 

After coffee and pipes, the bystanders were dismissed, 
and the two Pashas remained by themselves for an hour. 


A little later, at half-past ten, the Turkish Admiral walked 
out of the room barefooted, his own servant not being 
there to give him his shoes. After walking about twenty 
paces without his shoes, his servant brought them as 
well as his sword, upon which he went to the " Palace 
for Guests" with the same pomp as on his arrival. On 
entering this palace, Hussein Pasha and the other officers 
of Mohammed Ali kissed his foot. He asked them to 
take seats, and gave them coffee, telling them, with the 
effrontery of a Judas, that he thanked God that his 
desire to meet the Pasha of Egypt was gratified, and 
that he had obtained Mohammed Ali's permission for the 
landing of the vice and rear-admirals. 

On the 16th the Turkish fleet anchored off the western 
entrance of Alexandria, about six miles from the town, 
when all the admirals and captains went on shore to 
wait upon Mohammed Ali. Captain Walker also landed, 
and did not again return to the fleet; for, on the 17th, 
when the Capitan Pasha proposed to him to cruise with 
the united fleets, he declined, stating as the reason that 
he was not authorised by the British Government to 
serve under Mohammed Ali. To this the Capitan Pasha 
replied, with a flimsy show of rectitude, that it was still 
the Sultan's fleet, but united with the Egyptian for the 
good of the Turkish empire. Captain Walker having 
informed the Capitan Pasha of his intention of proceeding 
to Constantinople, the latter asked him if it were not 
possible to remain ; and, on being answered negatively, 
the Pasha gave himself the air of being much hurt. 

The political agents of the five European Powers 
in Alexandria were utterly astounded by this event. 
All of them were personally well inclined towards 
Mohammed Ali, so far as their duty permitted ; and, 
excepting the Austrian consul-general, who was usually 
in a state of feud with the Egyptian government, all of 


them were more or less under that sort of spell with 
which Mohammed AH by his fascinating manner used to 
bind to his interests even those who landed in Egypt 
with prejudices in his disfavour. But such an event as 
this took them completely aback, and they in a body 
represented to the Pasha how groundless were the accu- 
sations which the Capitan Pasha had brought about the 
poisoning of Sultan Mahmoud, which was so little in con- 
formity with the depositions of the European doctors 
who had attended that sovereign during the course of his 
illness. Mohammed Ali replied that he did not pretend 
to exculpate the Capitan Pasha, but as long as Husreff 
Pasha was at the head of affairs he could not reckon upon 
a sincere reconciliation. He must therefore aim at 
something positive. The consuls maintained that the 
best method would be to restore the fleet to his High- 
ness, and to send to Constantinople without delay some 
person charged to make in his name his submission to the 
Grand Seignior. They urged that the Capitan Pasha, 
having quitted the Dardanelles, after having received the 
order to proceed with the fleet to Constantinople, had com- 
mitted an act of high treason, and that the representatives 
of the great courts were unwilling to believe that he was 
ready to make himself an accomplice of the Capitan 
Pasha, by accepting the fleet at his hands. Mohammed 
Ali loudly protested against such an argument as this, 
alleging that " in time of war it was permitted to receive 

The officers of the Turkish fleet continued to come 
on shore for presentation to Mohammed Ali, and at one 
levee he said, with that cool and deliberate inversion of 
the truth which almost savours of comedy, " My sons, 
henceforward all differences between Constantinople and 
Egypt must be removed, and we must consider ourselves 
as one entire body. Our sovereign is young, and a pure 


jewel, and we must support him with, fidelity, and aid 
the nation with all our hearts." On this the officers 
expressed much satisfaction, and requested permission to 
adopt the uniform worn by the Egyptian navy, which 
had that amplitude of hose characteristic of the eastern 
costume, instead of their own Frank uniform which was 
said to resemble that of Eussia.. To this the Pasha 
replied that they might do in this as appeared best to 
themselves. This colloquy bears every appearance of 
having been pre-arranged in accordance with the Pasha's 
views, which were directed towards an amalgamation of 
the two fleets. 

After this the Turkish fleet anchored within the 
capacious port of Alexandria ; and so desperate did the 
fortunes of the Sultan at this period appear, that Husreff 
Pasha, the prime minister of the Sultan, actually wrote 
to the Capitan Pasha to say that if he would return with 
his fleet to Constantinople, no notice would be taken of his 
late defection, and that a full pardon and oblivion of the 
past would be accorded. To this the Capitan Pasha 
replied, with a renewal of his duplicity, that he had not 
been, and did not intend to be, disloyal to his sovereign ; 
that what he had done had been for the interest of the 
Sultan and of the Turkish empire, and to remove the 
fleet out of the power of the intrigues of Husreff Pasha; 
and that he would not return so long as the latter 
remained in power. 




HITHERTO we have chiefly followed purely oriental 
currents of history ; but we are now arrived at their con- 
fluence with the great streams of European events at 
a period when we are impressed with the decisive action 
of the diplomacy of Europe in the affairs of the East, and 
when Turkey takes rank definitively as a member of the 
European family. It was no longer a struggle between 
a Sultan and a Pasha ; but a complicated game in which 
the primary, secondary, and tertiary moves were studied 
and prepared from motives not immediately relating to 
Egypt and Syria. 

It is therefore now requisite to take a survey of the 
states of Europe, especially those which by the extent 
of their territory and by their military power had the 
management of the grand police of Europe. 

"We begin with Britain, which, by its maritime power, 
was destined to take a chief part in the events which 
were preparing in the east of the Mediterranean. The 
character of the Briton is substantially Saxon, with 
laborious habits, and of a phlegmatic temperament, but 
coloured by Gaelic sensibility and Norman strength of 
will. With Saxon municipal institutions at an early 
period of her history, the constitutional liberty of modern 
times has been a natural sequence ; and thus public 


liberty is not only congenial to the British character, but 
essential to it. When rulers have forgotten this in modern 
times, punishments of stringent severity have inevitably 
followed. When Charles I., deceived by the congenial- 
ity of absolute government to the Eoman, Gaulish, and 
Slavic races of France, Italy, Spain, and Austria, sought 
to infringe the liberties of the British Saxons, his head 
was the forfeit of his inability to perceive this necessary 
distinction. A century later, when George III. thought 
to treat the British colonies of America, as if their 
inhabitants were not of our own flesh and blood, the 
disruption of this exhaustless region of territorial wealth 
from the rest of the empire was the result. 

Phlegmatic moderatism has preserved Britain from 
wild democracy, and from those express and determinate 
wars of ambition which have kept France within com- 
paratively narrow limits. As in the lives of her mer- 
chant princes, the political fortunes of Britain have been 
made up of parts taken as opportunities offered, with 
avoidance of hazardous speculations, and seizures inop- 
portunely attempted in defiance of the world. The 
liberty she has enjoyed, combined .with a felicitous 
insular situation, have carried her wealth and power to a 
height unparalleled in the history of the world. Ee- 
quiring neither political centralization nor large stand- 
ing armies to infuse terror into domestic factions, and, 
in short, being able to preserve order at home chiefly by 
moral force, and a semi-religious veneration for the law, 
she is embarrassed, encumbered, and unwieldy at the 
commencement of every general war, like one of her 
great ships on quitting a port or clearing an estuary ; 
but when the sea-room is large, the emprise high and 
arduous, when opposed by tempest, or impelled by 
favouring gales, her firmly knit strength, her long en- 
durance, her easy pliability, and her airy buoyancy, 

VOL. II. 10 


extort the tribute. of admiration from the most reluctant 

Totally dissimilar from the so-called constitutional 
States of the continent, which are in reality military 
monarchies with elective consultative councils, the go- 
vernment of Britain is an aristocratic republic of birth, 
prudently studious of the opinions entertained by the 
aristocracies of wealth and intelligence, with an august 
and popular dynasty taking the supreme place in the 
political hierarchy. The Whig and Tory factions, into 
which this aristocracy is divided, have the function of 
preserving the principles of liberty and authority in har- 
monizing contrast ; and, for the first time in the history 
of the human race, a great and complicated government 
is seen to realize that model which Aristotle, the greatest 
master of political science, considered the most perfect. 

But two blots still remained on our reputation for 
justice; one, an artificial enhancement of the price of 
bread, from which no class of society derived any pecu- 
niary benefit ; the other, the Sabbatarian shackle on the 
rational liberty of the Lord's-day Christian ; a violation 
of the principles and practice of the earliest and most 
illustrious of the leaders of the Eeformation, and of the 
letter and spirit of Christianity, which, to the astonish- 
ment of Protestant Europe, had survived the removal of 
all the other obstacles to civil and religious liberty. 

During the greater part of modern history, the rival 
of Britain has been France. More highly favoured than 
herself in climate and extent of soil, and with a great 
extent of coast on the Atlantic, the Channel, and the 
North Sea, she possesses the additional advantage of ex- 
cellent ports in the Mediterranean. 

The nationality of France is more Gaulish than Frank, 
being distinguished by a greater amount of sensibility, 
a greater plasticity of impression, and an intelligence 


more rapid than that of the other Northern nations. If 
Britain and Germany be the chief seats of Eeason, 
France is essentially the country of "Esprit" which is 
the dress or decoration of Eeason. The French sense 
of external beauty is far higher than the British;, and 
our ingenious neighbours, in ornamental art, as con- 
trasted with the utilitarian character of British manu- 
factures,, have an eminence of taste analogous to that 
which in the world of ideas renders their exposition of 
thought more felicitous than our own. 

The government most congenial to the French nation 
is that of a centralised military absolutism : hence the 
radical contrast in principle between the British and 
French Eevolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries. The errors of Louis XVI. were the converse 
of those of Charles I. The French monarch, instead of 
taking time by the forelock, by an economical and equit- 
able despotic government, at the twelfth hour enthroned 
anarchy. The greatest error that the Briton can commit 
is to curb the rational liberties of the people; nor can 
France make a greater aberration than to seek a Saxon 
liberty which is repugnant to the Celtic genius. 

The most composite of the greater European States 
is Austria, the mortar of which, if one may so express 
it, is Germanic its very heterogeneousness being a proof 
of the extraordinary power of the cement. However 
differing from the British empire in materials, position, 
and form, that of Austria has the same vital principle, 
in being the domination of a Germanic race over non- 
Germanic races. The speculative sciences have had few 
pioneers in Austria, resulting from the large proportion 
of Slavic population the Slavic genius tending rather 
to develope the State than the individual man. But in 
the German provinces of the empire instruction is gene- 
rally diffused. Poverty and crime are more rare than in 


France or in Britain ; the technical sciences are pursued 
with ardour ; and in music whether as the colourist of 
passion, and the handmaid of poetry, or in its highest 
-and most independent functions as the creator of those 
elevated moods of the soul which cannot be described by 
a language that takes its imagery from the phenomena 
<of external nature Austria has produced or cherished 
men of the highest genius. Her union with Britain in 
resisting the ambition of France on two great occasions 
the absence of all maritime rivalry, and the vicinity of 
her large military resources to the Eussian Empire 
pointed her out as the natural counterpoise to that 
Power, and created close and intimate relations between 
her and Great Britain. 

The Eussian Empire is mostly Slavic or Slavicised 
Ugrian, but availing itself largely of Germanic science 
and perseverance in every sphere of military, political, 
.and industrial activity. The Germanic race in Eussia 
being much scantier than even in Austria, the number 
of thinkers, of great artists, or of pioneers of science 
is considerably smaller, but great aptitude is shewn 
for the lighter accomplishments. Her boundless terri- 
torial wealth, and the solid qualities of her Germanic 
civil and military servants, and industrial technicians, 
have created that power which, previous to the collapse 
during the Crimean war, was not inaptly termed a 
'" Colossus minus the lantern." 

Prussia although neither a great maritime power 
like France and England, nor, like Eussia and Austria, 
having a frontier to Turkey was nevertheless an im- 
portant power of the European Pentarchy, having, at 
Tarious periods of modern history, developed military 
strength and resources far beyond her proportions of 
territory and population ; and although possessed of a 
large Saxon population in her Ehenish provinces, the 


constitution of Prussia is, even since 1848, although not 
nominally, yet essentially autocratic, from various causes, 
the chief of which are the large Slavic population in 
her eastern provinces,, and the circumstance that the 
whole of her political arrangements are subordinate to 
objects of military defence. Several neighbouring 
countries in the north of Europe, more exclusively 
Saxon or Scandinavian, were distinguished by consti- 
tutional liberty, commercial wealth, and intellectual 
culture ; but were not populous enough to weigh in the 
balance of power, and act with high executive police 
powers by the delegation of Europe in common with the 
five powers who constitute what is called the European 

The south of Europe, although a maritime region 
adjoining Turkey, took no part in the negotiations 
respecting the fate of the Ottoman Empire. Napoleon 
Bonaparte had extinguished the once brilliant Venetian 
republic, and Italy had in modern times fallen into political 
decadence. "We Britons are told that Eomanism is the 
cause of this, an unsatisfactory statement: it appears 
to us that the ultimate cause is much deeper, and that 
Eomanism is only the symptom of a national character 
for which the analytical spirit of the north in religion is 
unsuitable. Had free enquiry been better suited to 
the imaginative and impassioned Italian race, than the 
mystery, the illusion, the symbols, the associations, the 
vague ecstatic raptures, and the pompous artistic 
splendour of Eome, it is clear that, on the revival of 
letters and the restoration of the equilibrium between 
reason and sentiment, the Italians, in common with the 
northern nations, would have ceased to be Eomanists. 
This has not been the case. The Eoman Catholic 
religion, acting by association upon the imagination,, 
and by its accessories appealing to the artistic taste, 

150 SPAIN. 

is evidently as suitable to the southern and western 
Eomans and Celts, as Protestantism to the northern 

But the Italians excel all the other Europeans in the 
sense of the beautiful covering that fascinating land 
with the most sublime structures, and rising to ideal 
beauty on canvass, with the ease, confidence, and power 
of the Greeks in sculpture ; producing poets that surpass 
those of all other countries, with the solitary exception 
of the British Shakespeare ; and musicians whose works 
strike from the first, by their grace, spirit, and invention ; 
and to which, if inferior to those of Germany in depth 
and earnestness, as well as in the mechanical and scholas- 
tic qualities, the most cultivated taste nevertheless turns 
with pleasure, attracted by that deep master-craft of 
creative genius which shews itself in an easy natural 
development and consistent unity of mould. 

Spain had also been in decadence. She had made the 
ends of the earth feel her power, and at home the 17th 
century was a period of splendour in literature and art. 
But her valiant race had too easily gained and dissipated 
the treasures of the new world ; and Spain, no longer a 
preponderating state, was slowly recovering from arduous 
intestine struggles, which renovated her energies and 
laid the foundations of an economical prosperity which is 
not yet fully evolved. 

Such was Europe, the history of which has been so 
admirably traced by Guizot, although one must regret that 
a better comprehension of national character has not ac- 
companied his illustration of national laws. Towns had 
made the Roman Empire : it fell, and the towns remained. 
New agglomerations took place : the Slavic and Celtic 
races developed military monarchy ; the Italian races 
revived individual taste and intellectual culture ; the 
Germanic-Saxon races cultivated free enquiry in religion 


and liberty in politics. The wars of religion, on the 
revival of letters, and the expulsion of the Moslems from 
the greater part of Europe, were followed by wars of 
dynastic ambition. France, twice dangerous under 
Louis XIV. and Napoleon, had been twice checked ; and 
Eussia was in the eyes of Europe the troublesome and 
the formidable power. The diplomarchical constitution 
of Europe was far from being complete, so as to meet 
every emergency ; but the destruction of every monarch 
or minister who dared to substitute his individual will 
for the comitial action of the European Pentarchy had 
been erected into a principle. 

While Eussia had grown by Germanic genius, utilising 
the resources of a vast fertile territory and a large Slavic 
population, the Asiatic races on her eastern and southern 
borders declined and receded, not from want of physical 
courage, but of that science which makes it effective. 
At the head of this bulky state was the Emperor Nicholas, 
who is certainly destined to fill a large space in the 
history of the nineteenth century. Of a handsome and 
commanding person, with a refined courtesy when he 
chose to exercise it, great capacity for labour, and know- 
ledge of the details of military administration, Nicholas 
inverted the order usually found in active-minded and 
powerful sovereigns to develope unmeasured ambition in 
the prime of life, and in age to bequeath prudent coun- 
sels to their successors. Louis XI V., who, with mediocre 
political, military, and artistic intelligence, was, never- 
theless, a great master of kingcraft, recommended those 
who followed him to avoid war and palace-building ; and 
the truly great Frederick, in spite of ultimate success, 
said, in the tranquillity of age, '*Ich mache den spass, 
nicht wieder." Nicholas, in his old age, had not the 
courage to bear with power and prosperity, and to respect 
the integrity of the Ottoman Empire ; but, in the prime 


of life, his conduct on the Egyptian question was 
admirable, for the same reasons that furnish the condem- 
nation of his later policy. 

By her pressure on Turkey in the latter part of the 
eighteenth and early part of the nineteenth centuries, 
Eussia had reaped the fruit of the previous Austrian 
wars, when Turkey was really formidable to Europe, and 
it was with no friendly eye that Austria saw province 
after province of Turkey and Persia added to the already 
gigantic Muscovite Empire. The direction of the political 
affairs of Austria was in the hands of Clement Wencelaus, 
Prince Metternich, a statesman of large philosophic 
views, high personal integrity, and consummate court 
training. By his energy he had been chiefly instru- 
mental in bringing the wars of the French Empire to 
a conclusion satisfactory to Europe. The two cardinal 
principles of his political career were the cultivation 
of amicable relations with Great Britain, and the preser- 
vation of the integrity of the Ottoman Empire ; for he 
clearly comprehended that little fruit of his policy would 
remain to Europe if Eussia were to be freely permitted 
to exercise that dangerous and preponderating power of 
which the France of the Empire had been so lately 
deprived. Hence an important treaty concluded in 
1838 with Great Britain, the foreign affairs of which 
were at that time administered by Henry Temple, 
Viscount Palmerston. 

The time has not yet come for a complete analysis 
of the long varied career and exceptional character of 
Viscount Palmerston ; and we shall therefore confine our- 
selves to what is sufficient to elucidate the events that 
preceded the important treaty of 1841, which secured 
the integrity of the Ottoman empire. Viscount Pal- 
merston was certainly one of the most remarkable men 
of the nineteenth century. Having stepped from the 


university immediately into public life, he had in middle 
age acquired the experience of those whose career is 
ended ; and he retains, even in advanced age, much of 
the buoyant and sportive activity of the prime of life. 
This inversion of the order of normal nature, which rarely 
preserves vigour to the experience of age, renders him 
an intellectual phenomenon. Strong and healthy in 
body, and strong and healthy in mind, with matchless 
experience and capacity for labour, he was a living 
encyclopaedia of political, commercial, and geographical 
knowledge. He possessed in an eminent degree the rare 
faculty of the true statesman, who, out of a bewildering 
mass of details, discerns, evolves, and utilises the essence 
of truth. As an orator he was distinguished by concision, 
and the skill of the consummate tactician who brings his 
full power to bear on the weakest part of his opponent's 
argument. Enjoying constitutionally, as well as by a 
potent self-imposed discipline, the most admirable good 
humour, he has enjoyed great social influence, even in 
periods when his policy has been loudly condemned by 
eager opponents. An estimate of his political acts as 
Minister for Foreign Affairs, and leader in the combina- 
tions of domestic party, must be left to another genera- 
tion ; but we may safely predict that future historians 
will not deny the strength of his British feelings, the 
brilliancy of his powers, and the gigantic magnitude of 
his labours. Yet he has been accused of having been the 
paid agent of Eussia ; and, incredible as it may appear, 
the walls that echoed this charge were not those of a 
lunatic asylum. 

The dispatch of powerful squadrons to the Mediterra- 
nean, with the vigour and intelligence displayed by 
Viscount Ponsonby and Sir John McNeil, our representa- 
tives at the courts of Constantinople and Teheran ; the 
courageous and unflinching support which Viscount 


Palmerston gave to the British agents in the East ; and 
the bold and decisive measures of the Anglo-Indian Go- 
vernment on its western frontier, without actual declaration 
of war against Eussia, kept in check this formidable power. 
The actual invasion of Afghanistan by an Anglo-Indian 
force, which infused respect into Persia ; and the treaty 
of 1838 between Britain and Austria, which, although 
nominally only securing reciprocal advantages of a com- 
mercial character, was, from its mention of the Danube, 
in reality an intimation to Eussia that the concessions of 
Turkey in her favour in that quarter had arrived at their 
utmost limit, were finally decisive circumstances that 
impressed on Eussia the conviction that prudence was 
the better part of valour. 

Unprepared at this time to enter into conflict with 
public opinion, Eussia adroitly evaded the storm; and, 
acting with Europe in this great oriental crisis, left 
France again isolated from Europe on a question in 
which this latter Power had not the smallest national 
interest, apart from the other Powers. The incarnation 
of this erroneous policy of isolation was M. Adolph Thiers, 
an intelligent writer, and a fluent speaker; possessing 
great good nature in personal intercourse, making no 
useless and unremunerative expenditure of resentment 
in the struggles of party, evincing great dexterity in 
influencing the press, and the coteries, dispatching the 
business of an office, and dealing with the ordinary pas- 
sions and foibles of ordinary men ; but deficient in a 
knowledge of the true principles of national economy, 
and in the political morality which adjusts the policy and 
interests of the individual state to the recognized prin- 
ciples of European law, and the requirements of inter- 
national harmony : wanting in short, in the manifestations 
of that higher intelligence which wafts to distant ages and 
foreign nations the reputation of a true statesman. M on- 


sieur Thiers, the brilliant historian of the French Con- 
sulate and the Empire, was unconscious of the moral of 
his own tale, and himself succumbed, as a too venturous 
gambling politician, in the contest with the comitial action 
of the European Powers. 

His political morality in action reproduces itself in his 
voluminous historical work. Ever and anon his sense of 
reason and justice revolts against the passions and pre- 
judices of the dominant national pamphleteer and par- 
tizan military chronicler ; but this revolt is in the long 
run always unsuccessful. He condemns the reckless 
ventures of Napoleon in general, but is elaborately 
apologetic in his details. On the other hand, the artist 
deserves our warmest eulogy, and M. Thiers is one of the 
greatest masters of historical narration. We read Guizot, 
as we take a salutiferous and not very palatable medicine. 
We are satiated and bewildered with the delicious in- 
toxication and Circean fumes of Lamartine. But the 
style of Thiers, strong, clear, and agreeable, is equally 
remote from either extreme. 




THE immediate direction of the Chancery of State of 
the Russian empire had been for many years in the 
hands of Count Nesselrode, a statesman of diminutive 
physical stature, but of remarkable intelligence, which 
is shown in all his gestures, conversation, and public 
dispatches ; and no greater proofs can be adduced of 
his tact and practical ability than the extraordinary 
lengthened tenure of his high and envied office in such 
a country as Eussia, where unscrupulous intrigue and 
unprincipled combination drive the most potent into 
sudden disfavour. 

In August 1839 Count Nesselrode informed the Mar- 
quess of Clanricarde, British ambassador at the court 
of St. Petersburg, that the Emperor Nicholas, having 
reason to believe that the British Government was better 
disposed towards Eussia, and entertained a more favour- 
able and just opinion of his views and policy than here- 
tofore, was desirous of improving this disposition to the 
utmost, and of strengthening the good understanding 
which so happily existed ; and that therefore he had 
directed Baron Brunnow to proceed to London and offer 
the most unreserved explanations of the views and policy 
of Eussia. Count Nesselrode added that, unless he were 


himself to proceed to London, it would not be possible 
for the Emperor to send thither any person more 
thoroughly acquainted with the foreign affairs and 
policy of Eussia. 

Baron Brunnow arrived in London on the 15th of 
September, and left England on the 12th of October, 
having in the interval had several long interviews with 
Viscount Palmerston, and with other members of Her 
Britannic Majesty's Government. He was frank and 
unreserved in his conversations, and said that the Rus- 
sian government had witnessed with great satisfaction 
what they conceived to be evidences of greater confidence 
on the part of the British government in the sincerity 
and good faith of Eussia with regard to the affairs of 
Turkey ; that the Emperor felt that he deserved that 
confidence, and was anxious to draw closer the ties 
between Great Britain and Eussia ; that he looked upon 
the Sultan as a Sovereign who was his ally, and entitled 
to his support, and that he considered Mohammed Ali as 
a revolted subject; that he concurred with Britain in 
thinking that the best arrangement would be to confer 
upon Mohammed Ali the hereditary Pashalik of Egypt, 
and restore the rest of the territory in the occupation of 
the Pasha to the Sultan. 

Eussia therefore approved of the British proposal to 
blockade the ports of Egypt and Syria, if Mohammed 
Ali declined the proposed arrangement ; but, with refer- 
ence to the Egyptian threat of marching on Constanti- 
nople, some of the allies must come to the aid of the Sul- 
tan, and the Emperor thought that on account of its local 
position, Eussia was the power which could most easily 
afford assistance ; and that it should be given, not by 
virtue of the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi (which was a 
particular pact between Eussia and Turkey, the articles 
of which constituted a quasi-protectorate of Turkey by 


Russia, offensive to the rest of Europe), but that the aid 
should be given in virtue of the engagements about to 
be entered into between the Powers of Europe and the 
Sultan. Baron Brunnow then proposed a division of 
labour, so that the operations which might become 
necessary in Egypt and Syria should be undertaken by 
England, Austria, and France ; and that whatever might 
be requisite within the Straits, and in Asia Minor, should 
be executed by Eussia. Baron Brunnow added that if 
a convention to this effect were signed, the Emperor 
would not renew the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi, and that 
although the co-operation of France would undoubtedly 
render the execution more easy, Eussia would be per- 
fectly ready to act without France, if she could not be 
persuaded to concur. 

On the communication of proposals so satisfactory and 
important, and contrasting so strongly with that spirit of 
occult hostility which for several years had marked the 
relations of the two governments, a cabinet council was 
held ; and Viscount Palmerston thereafter stated to Baron 
Brunnow what were the sentiments of Her Britannic 
Majesty's confidential servants on the overtures of 
Eussia. The government declared itself ready to adopt 
the whole arrangement, with the exception of one single 
point. Every State is considered as having territorial 
jurisdiction over the sea which washes its shores as far 
as three miles from low water mark, and consequently 
any strait which is bounded on both sides by the terri- 
tory of the same sovereign, and which is not more than 
six miles wide, lies within the territorial jurisdiction of 
that sovereign. But the Bosphorus and Dardanelles are 
bounded on both sides by the territory of the Sultan, 
and are in most parts less than six miles wide, and 
consequently the territorial jurisdiction of the Sultan 
extends over both of these straits ; and the Sultan has 


a right to exclude all foreign ships of war from these 
straits, if he should think proper to do so. Now, by the 
treaty of 1809, Great Britain acknowledged this right 
on the part of the Sultan, and promised to acquiesce in 
the enforcement of it ; and it was but just that Eussia 
should make the same engagement. But Her Majesty's 
Government were of opinion that if, for a particular 
emergency, one of those straits should be opened for one 
party, the other ought at the same time to be opened 
also for other parties ; and that if it should become 
necessary for a Eussian force to enter the Bosphorus, a 
British force should at the same time enter the Dar- 
danelles : and, as the bulk of the British squadron would 
probably be required off the coasts of Egypt or Syria, 
the smallness of the number of ships that could be spared 
for going up the Dardanelles would of itself shew that 
their presence was intended to record a principle and to 
manifest union, and not to proclaim distrust or to exer- 
cise control. 

Baron Brunnow expressed great regret at this decision 
of Her Britannic Majesty's Government, because his 
instructions did not provide for this case, and he should 
therefore be obliged to refer the question for the decision 
of his government, so that much valuable time would be 
lost. He added, that the will of the Emperor being for 
him the sole rule of his conduct he must stop at this 
point and, reporting to his court, must wholly reserve 
to the Emperor to pronounce upon it. Lord Palmerston 
fully admitted the weight and justice of the motives 
which hindered Baron Brunnow from going further ; and, 
on the suggestion of the Eussian Envoy that something 
should be immediately done in the way of coercing Mo- 
hammed Ali, especially with a view to the immediate 
surrender of the fleet, Lord Palmerston expressed himself 
inclined to prefer the arrival at some preliminary concert 


among the European Powers ; so as to merge the question 
of the fleet in the larger one of a final arrangement. 

Baron Brunnow departed from London, and, having 
brought to the knowledge of his government the details 
of his communications with the British Secretary of 
State for Foreign Affairs, Count Nesselrode announced 
the intention of the Emperor of Eussia to accede to the 
wish of the cabinet of London with reference to the 
Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, and therefore directed 
Baron Brunnow to return to London in order to com- 
plete the arrangement. In January, 1840, definite mea- 
sures were suggested by the Eussian envoy to Viscount 
Palmerston, obviating the important exceptions taken 
to the proposals of his previous mission. We give briefly 
the shape which the arrangement had taken in the be- 
ginning of this not unmemorable year. 

The Allied Cabinets, considering that they had formally 
promised the Porte assistance which the latter accepted, 
determined to settle among themselves the basis of a 
pacification affording assistance and securing independ- 
ence to the Ottoman Empire. This basis was to embrace 
the grant of the Pashalik of Egypt to Mohammed Ali, 
with the right of transmitting to his descendants the 
administration of that province, but with the full recog- 
nition of the sovereignty of the Sultan. Mohammed Ali, 
on his part, was to evacuate Syria and Candia, and to 
give back the fleet to the Sultan. But, in case this 
arrangement should be declined by Mohammed Ali, and 
he should menace Constantinople, Eussia would send its 
Black Sea fleet with a body of troops to be disembarked 
for the defence of that capital, whilst, on the other hand, 
the combined fleets of the other Powers should act on 
the coasts of Egypt and Syria. Moreover, in order to 
prove the union existing among the Allies, the Eussian 
fleet and troops should be called into the Bosphorus 


while Austria, Great Britain, and France would cause 
two or three vessels of war to enter the sea of Marmora 
and cruise between Gallipoli and the Gulf of Mondania ; 
this measure being exceptional, and not prejudicing 
the principle of the exclusion of all foreign vessels of 
war in time of peace. 






MEANWHILE Viscount Palmerston had recalled Colonel 
Campbell, the British Political Agent and Consul-General, 
from Egypt. This, in many respects, able and, in all re- 
spects, honourable officer, had, unfortunately for himself, 
laid before the British Minister a series of considerations 
advocating Mohammed Ali's tenure of Syria at a period 
when the British Cabinet had arrived at the conclusion 
that decisive measures must be taken, in order not only 
to get back the fleet, but to restore Syria to its lawful 

A successor was therefore required, unentangled with 
any long continued intimacy with Mohammed Ali, and 
unaccustomed to proifer on behalf of his government 
menaces which were not subsequently supported by acts 
and facts. The admonitions to Mohammed Ali having 
never been accompanied or followed by military and 
naval demonstrations, or by positive hostilities, ceased 
to have any effect upon a man naturally self-willed and 
hitherto almost uniformly successful in his enterprises. 

Colonel Hodges had, in the principality of Servia, 
given proofs of no common sagacity, and was moreover 
possessed of the moral and physical energy requisite for 
a, mission of menace to an unbending military chief. 
Many persons have expressed the opinion that had more 


conciliatory language been used, Mohammed AH could 
have been brought to evacuate Syria without the war 
which in the autumn of this year desolated that fine 
country ; but it is difficult for me to adopt this view, 
considering that Mohammed Ali had illusions as to the 
power of his Syrian armies, the material strength of Acre, 
and the passiveness of the Syrian population ; and also 
the incautious and ill-judged assurances of moral if 
not of actual military and naval support which he con- 
tinued to receive from France down to the period of 

Colonel Hodges, proceeding from Belgrade to Alex- 
andria, via Vienna and Trieste, received his instructions 
from Lord Beauvale (subsequently Viscount Melbourne, 
on the death of his brother, the then Premier), the British 
Ambassador at Vienna, which were characterised by re- 
markable good sense. " It will be well," said Lord 
Beauvale, " that you should state that the British Go- 
vernment has no feeling of envy or hostility towards him 
(Mohammed Ali) ; that the order and security which he 
has established in Egypt are more valuable to England, 
by opening a short communication with India, than to 
any other nation ; that the commercial prosperity of 
Egypt re-acts upon us; and that for these reasons the 
continuance of the system which Mohammed Ali has 
created in that country, is of high value and importance 
to us. 

" In Africa we are friendly to his power and to its 
permanence : if we are less so in Asia, it proceeds not 
from any hostility to his person, but because in Asia his 
presence acts as a solvent to the empire of the Sultan 
an empire which his conquests in that part of the globe 
can neither support nor replace ; which they can only 
weaken and destroy; and which we are determined to 


" If the object of Mohammed All be really the estab- 
lishment of his family, it is only in Africa that establish- 
ment can be fixed. There he will have Europe friendly 
to him ; and, reconciled to the Porte, he may pursue the 
consolidation of the structure he has raised, with every 
facility for success, and with the certainty of transmitting 
it to his descendants. 

"In Asia, on the contrary, there can never exist 
between him and the Sultan but an armed truce. He 
must either overthrow or be overthrown. But the 
chances are not equal : the loss of a battle expels Mo- 
hammed Ali from Asia ; the gain of one opens at most 
to him the road to Constantinople, which is too strongly 
guarded for him to make an impression upon it. Full 
and final success is therefore impossible to him; the 
utmost he can gain in Asia is the temporary occupation 
of some additional districts ; the utmost he can lose may 
be read in the history of all conquerors when checked in 
their career." 

Such were the sound views expressed in simple and 
manly English by Lord Beauvale, and for the ex- 
position of which Colonel Hodges had been selected by 
Viscount Palmerston. The author of this history ac- 
companied that officer to Egypt in the latter part of 
1839, as private secretary, and henceforth he hopes to be 
pardoned for interweaving with the texture of his history 
some of his own personal impressions. The first scene 
had an effect never to be forgotten. "We entered, in a 
French steam-packet, the old port which then contained 
the combined fleets of the Sultan and Mohammed Ali, 
amounting to fifty vessels of war and including nineteen 
sail of the line. The pace of the steamer slackened, and 
we slowly moved up a majestic avenue of line-of-battle 
ships, with here and there an immense three-decker, in 
all the pride, pomp, and circumstance of naval archi- 


lecture. There stood the motionless sentry, high perched 
on the poop, the setting sun glistening on his bayonet, 
and warming the congenial tints of his red fez and 
dusky visage into the semblance of a statue of rose- 
coloured granite. Just as we dropped anchor the sun 
went down, the drums rolled from ship to ship, the 
evening guns were fired, and up rose a thin vapour that 
drew a grey veil over the embers of the glowing horizon, 
while we heard for the first time the solemn and im- 
pressive tones of the call to prayer from the minarets 
on shore. 

The presentation of the British Agent to the Pasha of 
Egypt took place with considerable pomp and ceremony, 
according to oriental usage. At an early hour a detach- 
ment of infantry, commanded by a field officer, with a 
military band, and a considerable body of Mohammed 
Ali's janissaries assembled in the great square of the 
Frank quarter, and the cortege, accompanied by all the 
British residents on horseback, proceeded over the sands 
of the peninsula to the palace of the Pasha, the windows 
of which opened on the wide azure of the Mediterranean; 
and in that torrid climate even the sun of December 
rendered its ample halls, with white marble floors and 
staircases, refreshing to the sense. As may well be be- 
lieved, the reception was courteous. Colonel Campbell 
(brother of the Sir Colin who, as British Commissioner, ac- 
companied Bonaparte to Elba) presented Colonel Hodges, 
who in turn presented Mr. Charles Alison, now Minister 
Plenipotentiary in Persia, and the author of these sheets, 
who, after pursuing some studies in history and inter- 
national law, was about to commence his apprenticeship 
as a politician. 

Mohammed Ali, at this stage of his career, was a thick- 
set man, but not so much so as to be pronounced corpu- 
lent. His features were remarkable neither for beauty 


nor the reverse; but if ever man had an eye that de- 
noted genius, Mohammed Ali was that person. Never 
dead nor quiescent, it was fascinating like that of a 
gazelle ; or, in the hour of storm, fierce as the eagle's. 
His dress was of a brown colour, embroidered with dark 
blue silk, and he wore on his head, not the turban of 
the earlier years of his pashalik, but the simple red 
Tunis fez. 

The old times were not unrepresented. The last of the 
Mamelukes, who had escaped all the successive massacres, 
and was now in the hoary caducity of old age, wore on 
this occasion the ample turban and flowing crimson robes 
of those haughty slaves who for centuries had been suc- 
cessively elevated to, and precipitated from, an almost 
regal power. The shades of Murad and Ibrahim, Bona- 
parte and Kleber, flitted transiently through the mind, 
as we gazed on this survivor of a wide historical cycle, 
long since accomplished and vanishing in the distant 
spheres of doom. Here I saw for the first time Boghos 
Bey, the faithful minister for foreign affairs and com- 
merce. He, too, wore the old oriental costume without 
any mixture of modern Frank innovation. His clean white 
turban and scrupulously neat person, in spite of his age ; 
his diction and his courtesy both of the best old French 
school were all perfectly characteristic of the Levantine 
civil satellite of a great bashaw. But the climate of 
Egypt had left its mark on this Armenian from Asia 
Minor, and a white cataract in the eye reminded us that 
we were in the native soil of ophthalmia. Timid, supple, 
and a rayah, Boghos Bey had no confidence in himself ; 
but he was invaluable to Mohammed Ali, from his great 
intelligence, his experience in mercantile affairs, and the 
oily suavity of the relations which he established with 
all the principal members of the European colony, diplo- 
matic and mercantile. He was entirely devoted to the 


interests of the Pasha, and the poverty in which he died 
was a convincing proof of his honesty and fidelity. None 
of the immediate family of Mohammed Ali were present. 
Ibrahim was heading his legions in Syria ; Abbas Pasha 
in the sequel the successor of Mohammed Ali was 
his deputy at Cairo ; and Said Pasha, then a youth of 
eighteen or nineteen, was pursuing the studies requisite 
for a naval career in one of the corvettes at anchor in 
the roads. 

After coffee was presented, and a speech delivered 
to the Pasha along with the credentials, and the inter- 
change of the compliments usual on the occasion, Colonel 
Hodges alluded to the new edifices and improvements 
of Alexandria ; to which the Pasha replied that he was 
doing his best to regenerate his country and merit 
the esteem of Europe. Colonel Hodges then assured 
Mohammed Ali that his labours in this respect were 
fully appreciated by Europeans. To this the Pasha re- 
plied emphatically, in consequence of conceiving that 
his power was referred to : " I do not know whether it 
has been appreciated hitherto, but please God, it shall 
be so henceforward." A magnificent furred pelisse was 
then put on the shoulders of the diplomatic agent ; and, 
after taking leave, a grey blood Arab charger another 
present from the Pasha awaited the agent at the foot 
of the stairs. 

These were the mere preliminary courtesies and cere- 
monies; the real tug of business was yet to come, and 
the interviews between the Pasha and the British agent 
in the earlier months of 1840 came like thunder-claps 
to awaken Mohammed Ali out of the illusions in which 
he had indulged as to the passive spectatorship of Europe 
enabling him. to realize his airy visions of an Arab 

In January, 1840, Colonel Hodges proceeded to ac- 


quaint the Pasha, impressively, that it was England's 
firm determination to maintain the integrity of Turkey 
under its present dynasty, and that any opposition, offered 
by his Highness could only entail upon him the most 
ruinous consequences; for that Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment were determined to carry out their policy by mea- 
sures which could leave no doubt as to the spirit of it, 
even if they acted alone. The Pasha was evidently 
much agitated; and Colonel Hodges awaited his reply, 
when Boghos Bey, who stood by him, requested him to 
be composed and to allow Colonel Hodges to proceed. 
Finding that his Highness was not disposed to continue 
the subject, Colonel Hodges remarked that Prince Met- 
ternich, with whom he had a short time before an oppor- 
tunity of conversing on the Oriental question at Vienna, 
had authorised him to state to his Highness that the 
Austrian Government were determined to back the 
policy of England to its fullest extent; and that he, 
the Prince, believed the other Powers were equally 
agreed on the subject, for the correctness of which 
statement Colonel Hodges referred his Highness to M. 
de Laurin, the Austrian Consul-General. Mohammed 
Ali here burst forth violently, " Much words are useless. 
I don't deny the power of England, nor can I tie her 
hands; but if they pretend to confine me within the 
limits (meaning, as Colonel Hodges presumed, of Egypt) 
I swear I will do anything before I submit to be thus 
sacrificed. As for supporting the Turkish dynasty, who 
can be more zealous than I am ? the very people about 
me would rise against me were I to attempt its over- 
throw." Colonel Hodges said that the occupation of the 
Turkish provinces in Asia was incompatible with such 
an assertion ; to which the Vizier replied that, before the 
battle of Nezib, it was not concealed at Constantinople 
that unless he had a predominant share in the adminis- 


tration of the empire, it could never be restored to any 
degree of quiet or order, owing to the obstinacy of 
Husreff Pasha ; as even the affections of that man (the 
Capitan Pasha, who had retired) were alienated. " I 
now hold," said he, " firm possession of those provinces, 
and still they are not submissive. I am an old man, 
upwards of seventy-one, but I will never consent to the 
cession of them during my lifetime." The Pasha con- 
firmed this determination with a solemn oath, and evinced 
a desire to close the conversation. He had much re- 
liance on the justice and humanity of England, and was 
sure she would hesitate before she caused the effusion of 
blood which might spring from her present policy. 
" Write, " said he, "and I will answer alii." 

On a subsequent occasion Colonel Hodges told the 
Pasha that England had in no way changed her old 
habit of never coming to a rash decision ; but that the 
decision once made, she would strike boldly, and with 
such a force a& must command success. He entreated 
Mohammed Ali to be assured that England would only 
resort to such a measure when he had proved to her 
that all means of persuasion were unavailing ; and re- 
called to his memory a circumstance of no remote date, 
which unhappily might bear a strong analogy to his own 
case, should he persist in his present course, which was, 
that Napoleon Bonaparte refused the offer of the Allied 
Sovereigns that he should be the ruler of France, with 
the Alps and the Ehine as a boundary, but that at a 
later period, having sent Caulincourt to treat with the 
Allied Powers, his tardy offers of acceptance were rejected. 

Mohammed Ali having talked of his "rights," the 
British Foreign Secretary was not backward in reading 
him a homiliy thereon, with the stern canons of legal 
prescription for his text. "I have to instruct you," 
said Lord Palmerston to Colonel Hodges, "on the next 


occasion on which Mohammed Ali shall speak to you of 
his rights, to say to his Highness that you are instructed 
by your Government to remind him that he has no rights 
except such as the Sultan has conferred upon him ; that 
the only legitimate authority which he possesses is the 
authority which has been delegated to him by the Sultan, 
over a portion of the Sultan's dominions, and which has 
been entrusted to him for the sole purpose of being used 
in the interest, and in obedience to the orders, of the 
Sultan; that the Sultan is entitled to take away that 
which he has given ; that the Sultan may probably do 
so, if his own safety should require it ; and that if, in 
such case, the Sultan should not have the means of self- 
defence, the Sultan has allies who may possibly lend 
him those means. You should also take an occasion of 
suggesting to the mind of Mohammed Ali that to a 
garrison which capitulates in time, honorable conditions 
are granted ; but that a garrison which insists on being 
stormed, must take the chance of war." 

These stormy interviews and sharp admonitions 
inflicted profound wounds on the self-love of Mohammed 
Ali ; and partly from miscalculation of the relative forces 
at his disposal and those of the European Powers that 
had taken him to task ; and partly from an exasperation 
in which temperament, rather than sober judgment, was 
at work, he commenced the vain task of putting himself 
in such an attitude of military defence as might impose 
respect on the allies of the Sultan a futile effort of the 
Nile frog to expand to the sturdy proportions of the 
British bull and the Muscovite bear. 

From the first entrance of the Turkish fleet into the 
harbour of Alexandria, great discontent had manifested 
itself on the part of the crews. It was the admiral, and 
not the fleet itself that had committed this foul defection. 
Obedience, discipline, and profound ignorance on the 


part of the ship's captains and companies had enabled 
him to consummate his ill-starred designs; but these feel- 
ings had given way to surprise, and had been succeeded 
by indignation. Coupled with the Egyptian fleet, lying 
under the batteries of Mohammed Ali, and still com- 
manded by a traitor, the crews could undertake nothing 
expressive of their unflinching loyalty; and even the 
officers, whose antecedents and consciences absolved them 
in their own eyes and in those of others from complicity 
in the defection, were by no means insensible to the 
unwearied caresses, hospitalities, and attentions of the 
Pasha and his officers. To make still more sure of his 
objects, Mohammed Ali, in December and in January 
1839-40, had amalgamated the crews of the Turkish and 
Egyptian squadrons, the former being at the same time 
clothed in Egyptian uniforms. Count Medem (after- 
wards minister in Persia) and M. de Laurin, the Eussian 
and Austrian Consuls-General, questioned Mohammed 
Ali on this measure, to which he answered very coolly 
that "the sailors themselves were anxious and willing 
to change the Muscovite costume for the Turkish." 

To explain this, it must be remembered that the 
Turkish costume had become almost European; while 
the Egyptian, with its wide trousers, retained much of 
the oriental ease and latitude. In spite of all this, 
the discontent did not diminish. Deli Mustapha Pasha, 
vice-admiral, declared that he would never give up alive 
the ship that was entrusted to him by the Sultan ; and 
Omar, the rear-admiral, refused to accept or wear the 
new uniform of the Egyptians. 

On land, Mohammed Ali displayed his accustomed 
activity, however unavailing or inadequate to the 
emergency. The Egyptian troops, which, after the end 
of the Wahaby war had occupied a great part of the 
Arabian peninsula, were recalled to Egypt. Kurschid 


Pasha was one of the best lieutenants of Mohammed All, 
uniting bravery with prudence. On his arrival at 
Alexandria he received the command of the division 
to defend the coast. His address was exceedingly good 
natured, and the author well recollects his personal 
appearance, which was corpulent to an extreme rarely 
seen. A thumb having been carried away from its 
socket, he- was surnamed both by himself and others 
u Parmakt&P or the thumbless Kurschid. 

Eegiments of national guards were ordered' to be 
formed from the inhabitants of Alexandria and other 
places. But this measure, pompous on paper, proved 
null in execution, from the paucity of volunteers and the 
total indisposition of the people of Egypt to co-operate 
with any chief, however able, against their lawful 
sovereign, whose- " caliphate" or " succession" has more- 
over somewhat of a pontifical character the civil, 
military, and religious organism flowing through the 
Grand Yizier and Sheikh ul Islam from a common 

In anticipation of a blow being struck in Egypt, which 
was the centre of his power, and taking alarm at the 
curiosity that European officers had shewn as to the 
defences of Alexandria, Mohammed AH issued orders 
to disarm the two squadrons, in the port, and form six 
regiments from the ships' crews and marines to defend ' 
the coast from Eosetta to Alexandria, and westward 
towards the Lybian Desert. He also directed that all 
the guns should be brought on shore and placed in 
battery to strengthen the positions of Aboukir, the 
Catacombs, Marabout, and the entrances of the ports 
of Alexandria. At the same time Damanhour was 
selected as a convenient place for a camp of reserve, 
from which troops could be directed with equal facility 
on Eosetta or on Alexandria. This magnificent project 


was only partially carried into effect, strong symptoms 
of disaffection in Syria having indicated that country to 
be ripe with immediate danger to the Pasha. 

Colonel Hodges, on the last day of March, made a 
communication to Mohammed Ali which left no doubt that 
the hour of decisive action was at hand, and that of di- 
plomatic negotiation passed away. He asked the Pasha, 
" Pray what does your Highness purpose doing with the 
Turkish fleet ?" to which he replied, " I shall keep it as 
a weapon taken from the hand of my enemies, until my 
differences are settled with the Porte, and then I shall 
send it back to the Sultan." To this Colonel Hodges 
rejoined, " If the officers of the Turkish fleet knew their 
duty to their religion and to the Sultan, they would 
return with their ships to Constantinople ; and," added 
he, " I do not conceal from your Highness that I am 
instructed by my government to advise their adoption 
of such a course." On this, the Pasha, in a state of the 
greatest excitement, jumped up from his Divan, and cried, 
" Now you place me in a state of Avar. I warn you that 
the first defection I perceive, I will shoot the offender." 
Colonel Hodges contented himself with answering : 
" Your Highness may rely upon it, that threats will not 
prevent the performance of my duty. I view with 
regret the measures you are adopting, which only prove 
the eagerness with which you are rushing on certain 

From this period no further representations were 
made to Mohammed Ali. Courteous persuasion had been 
followed by strong arguments which had produced no 
effect. Peremptory language and menace had been 
equally disregarded ; nothing remained but the " ultima 
ratio regum." 




THE negotiations between Baron Brunnow and the 
British Government, the details of which were candidly 
imparted to the French Government, as well as the ill- 
timed obstinacy of the Pasha, have no doubt prepared 
the reader for the concurrence of Austria, Eussia, Prus- 
sia, Great Britain, and of the Porte, in coercive measures 
against Mohammed Ali. These took the preliminary 
form of a convention, or treaty, dated 15th July, 1840, 
for which extraordinary Powers were granted to the 
plenipotentiaries of the consenting powers. The Porte 
was represented at these London conferences by Shekib 
Effendi, a statesman of robust physical frame and mascu- 
line intellect, although not having had the advantage 
of an European education. 

This treaty or convention was an extension or em- 
bodiment of the arrangements concluded between the 
British and Russian Governments, and in accordance 
with the language and acts of Admiral Roussin, the 
French Ambassador at the Ottoman Porte. The two 
Straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, as well as 
the capital, were placed in security against all aggres- 
sion, the operation of the Allies there to be considered 
only as a measure of exception adopted at the express 
demand of the Sultan, and in no way derogating from 


the normal exclusion of foreign ships of war from these 

A separate act prescribed the mode in which Mo- 
hammed AH was to be dealt with. The Sultan promised 
to grant him not only the hereditary administration of 
the Pashalik of Egypt, but, moreover, the fortress of St. 
Jean d'Acre and Southern Syria for his life. But the 
Sultan, in making these offers, attached to them the 
Sybilline condition that Mohammed Ali should accept 
them within the space of ten days after the communica- 
tion of them should be made to him at Alexandria. If 
within this term he should not accept the arrangement, 
the offer of the life-administration of the Pashalik of 
Acre was to be withdrawn, and after ten days more 
or, in all, twenty days even the offer of Egypt was no 
longer in force on the part of the Sultan. 

Eifaat Bey was the commissioner appointed by the 
Porte to notify to Mohammed Ali the terms determined 
upon at the London conferences. This statesman, since 
elevated to the rank of Pasha, distinguished by polished 
manners and appearance, was of a conciliatory disposi- 
tion, and by no means deficient in intelligence. He had 
been previously, and has been since, in high employ- 
ments, having been more than once Minister for Foreign 
Affairs, and ambassador at European courts of the first 
class. He was not remarkable for any energy or activity, 
but has rarely shewn deficiency in tact and discrimination. 

In the middle of August, a month after the convention 
had been signed, Eifaat Pasha had his audience of Mo- 
hammed Ali; and, after the customary salutations, the 
Constantinople envoy made known to the Pasha those 
terms with which the reader is already familiar. 

To this Mohammed Ali answered, with professions of 
astonishment that his real views should have been so 
mistaken which aimed at restoring the Ottoman Empire 


to its ancient force, " The propositions which are now 
made to me are evidently absurd, and of a nature to 
cause my ruin. Prance is ready to come to my aid, and 
has more than once offered to me her intervention ; but 
I have always refused it, because my intention is not to 
allow the troops of the Christian Powers to ravage the 
Mussulman territory, and I am ready to sacrifice my 
life and everything that I possess to the love of my 

"But," said Eifaat Pasha, "your insisting upon not 
abandoning any one of the provinces which are now 
under your sway, only proves too clearly that you really 
have your own interest and that of your family in view, 
and not that of the Ottoman Empire, as you wished to 
make me believe 'just now. My mission is only for the 
purpose of notifying to you the arrangement concluded 
between the four great Powers." 

On the Consuls- General of the four Powers proceeding 
to Mohammed Ali on the following day, in accordance 
with the instructions they had received, Mohammed Ali 
said, " Eifaat Bey has in truth informed me of the object 
of his mission, and of the decisions of the conference of 
London. The reply which I have made to him is that 
which you ought to expect from me. I cannot accept 
the terms which are offered to me; and you know the 
character of Mohammed Ali too well to suppose that he 
will allow himself to be buried alive." 

On the 5th of September, Eifaat Bey, together with 
the Consuls-General of the four Powers, waited on Mo- 
hammed Ali in order to receive his final reply to the 
demands of the Sublime Porte. The Pasha, being con- 
fined to his room by a painful indisposition, gave his 
official answer through the medium of his confidential 
secretary and minister, Sami Bey; the same who go- 
verned Widdin during the Eussian occupation of the 


Principalities, and renowned in the Ottoman Empire for 
his oriental scholarship, and his diplomatic experience. 

After having inspected, along with the four consuls, 
the credentials of Sami Bey, Eifaat Bey said, u We are 
come at the expiration of the period of twenty days to 
ask what is the decision to which his Highness has come 
with regard to the stipulations of this second alternative 
of the convention." 

Sami Bey replied, "Before the expiration of the second 
period, the Pasha had accepted the inheritance of Egypt, 
out of deference to the decisions of the four great 
Powers, and to the orders of his benefactor the Sultan ; 
and I now confirm to you officially this resolution. With 
regard to Syria, his non-acceptance not being a refusal, 
His Highness, considering his numerous services to the 
Ottoman Empire, is desirous of submitting a request on 
this subject, as well to his lawful sovereign as to the 
four great Powers; and he flatters himself that Eifaat 
Bey, as well as the consuls of the four Powers, will 
have the goodness to communicate it to their respective 

The object of this evasive answer was to enable M. 
Thiers to gain time, in order to complete the military and 
naval preparations subservient to a policy which minis- 
tered neither to the advantage of France nor to the 
honour and prudence of this statesman. But it was a 
definite yea or nay that the agents required on this 
occasion, and the proposals for delay by Mohammed Ali, 
having been unaccompanied by the offer of the imme- 
diate surrender of the fleet, were regarded as a non- 

On receiving this intelligence, the Porte notified to all 
the missions at Constantinople the deposition of Mo- 
hammed Ali from his post as Pasha of Egypt, and also 
the establishment of a blockade of the ports of Egypt 

VOL. II. 12 


and Syria ; and the Consuls-General of the four Powers 
took their departure from Alexandria. The tempest 
lowering over the head of Mohammed Ali had thus been 
braved with inconceivable infatuation. The policy of 
Thiers had appeared to offer a secure harbour of refuge 
an illusion that was quickly dispelled, when the storm, at 
length bursting, aroused the Pasha from his fallacious 




A PERIOD sometimes arrives in political affairs when 
all the efforts of soldiers and statesmen to avert a crisis 
are as futile as attempts to smother an earthquake or 
erect dams against a rolling flood. Tain were the 
precautions and proclamations of Suleyman Pasha, major- 
general of the Egyptian troops, in presence of the irre- 
pressible ferment in the popular mind of Syria. Partial 
risings had taken place in mount Lebanon in the course of 
the summer, in consequence of the mountaineers having 
heen obliged to work in the coal mines ; but a force of above 
ten thousand men having been sent to Beyrout with Mo- 
hammed Ali's usual promptitude and decision, the moun- 
taineers were, without being conciliated, compelled to 
adjourn their rising to a more favourable opportunity. 

But the identification of the forces of four out of 
the five great Powers of Europe with the interests of the 
Sultan, again placed the Egyptian Government in a most 
critical position, without even the firing of a shot ; and 
in August, not only the mountaineers of Lebanon, but 
the Nosairis of mount Cassius, the Moslems of Nablouse, 
and the Druses of the Hauran were again in a state of 
agitation. Suleyman Pasha, having informed the consuls 
at Beyrout of Mohammed Ali's refusal of the conditions 
offered him by the Sultan, the coast of Syria was declared 


in a state of siege. Every individual, whether native or 
foreigner, introducing into Syria writings or proclama- 
tions fomenting disobedience or revolt, was to be punished 
by death, while the prospect of penal servitude was held 
out to all who chose to be guilty of concealment of the 
Sultan's proclamations. The Egyptian Government in 
Syria at the same time spread reports of the aid France 
was about to give Mohammed Ali. The Moslems of 
Damascus and Aleppo were led to believe that the object 
of the Allies was to establish Christian supremacy in 
Syria, which the Egyptian Government was alone in a 
position to resist ; while the Christian population of the 
mountains were on the contrary led to fear the revival of 
Druse supremacy and Christian abasement. 

A small British naval force had been for some weeks 
off Beyrout, under the command of Commodore Napier, 
a man of daring gallantry, whose forward enterprising 
spirit had led him in a varied career to serve as a soldier 
as well as a sailor in the troubles of western Europe ; 
and who, in his own peculiar profession, had earned well 
merited fame by encounters of ship to ship during the 
latter years of the Anglo-French war, and, finally, by a 
naval action off Cape St. Yincent, which had discrowned 
Don Miguel, the sovereign of Portugal. The bulk of 
the fleet rejoined the squadron of Napier on the 8th of 
September, off Beyrout, under the command-in-chief of 
Admiral Sir Eobert Stopford, an experienced and honour- 
able officer, but certainly past the age when extraordinary 
personal activity could be fairly expected. The fleet itself 
was in the highest state of efficiency, as might be expected 
in the case of an insular people, whose ships, colonies, 
and commerce encircle the globe. All the admirals and 
captains of a certain standing had seen war. Even the 
juniors required no schooling to the tug of actual combat. 
A fleet, unlike an army, never rusts ; and the sailor is, 


so to speak, always in campaign. Navigation with its 
contrasts of climate, its alternations of weather, its con- 
stant exertion and occasional danger, disciplines the mind 
to foresight and the body to arduous enterprise. 

Austria was represented in this expedition by a small 
force of frigates, on board \vhich was an archduke of the 
Imperial House, who had been brought up to a naval 
career, and who has since been cut off in the flower of 
youth. The remains of the Turkish naval forces were 
commanded by Walker Bey, that British officer who 
had been surprised into a passive spectatorship of the 
defection of the most effective part of the fleet, and on 
board this remnant, hastily fitted out for the occasion, 
was a small force of four or five thousand Turkish troops. 

As Beyrout was surrounded by a slight wall without 
a ditch, it did not appear to Commodore Napier desirable 
to make a first attack there ; because, had the Allies suc- 
ceeded in obtaining possession of the town, they would 
have been penned in by a superior force, and would have 
had no opportunity of communicating with and arming the 
mountaineers, without whose assistance it would have 
been impossible to make any impression on Suleyman 
Pasha's army. Under these circumstances the com- 
modore suggested to the admiral, who was commander- 
in-chief of the allied forces by sea and land, that they 
should put the troops ashore in Djouny Bay, in the 
province of Kesrouan, and there entrench themselves, 
and arm the mountaineers who, they had reason to 
suppose, would flock down and join the Sultan's standard. 

The invention of steam as applied to shipping had 
prodigiously increased the military power of the Allies, 
who had the command of the coast; and of this full 
advantage was taken, in the very first operations. After 
dark on the 9th September the Turkish troops and 
marines were moved into the steamboats, the operation 


being accomplished by two in the morning. Soon after 
eight they proceeded off Beyrout Point, to draw the 
Egyptian troops in that direction, and there wait until 
the sea breeze set in. The Egyptians, anticipating a 
landing, issued out to the westward, prepared to drive the 
Allies into the sea, before they should have time to form ; 
but a brisk fire of shells being opened upon them from 
the fleet, their columns were disordered, with some loss 
of life. Between nine and ten o'clock the azure of the 
Mediterranean began to be slightly ruffled by the sea- 
breeze which sprang up ; and upon this Napier and 
Walker, with the troops, weighed ancttor and stood 
across the bay to Djouny where they took up a position 
on an elevated promontory jutting out from near the base 
of mount Lebanon. The position was immediately 
entrenched, and the approaches to it completely swept 
by the guns of the protecting naval force, while at the 
same time lighter craft commanded the coast-road from 
Beyrout. In the immediate vicinity, the Dog river not 
only ' intercepted the mountains by a deep ravine, with 
its towering rocks and gloomy shades, but afforded 
abundance of cool and delicious water. A Turkish 
battalion was landed to the north of the river, so as to 
prevent the advance of the Egyptians from Beyrout, 
when they discovered the real point of attack. On the 
heights was a convent, and Commodore Napier took up 
his quarters in the chapel, which served for dining room, 
bedroom, and powder magazine. His establishment was 
landed from the ship which he commanded ; and he says 
in his narrative, " I looked back to the month I passed 
there as one of the happiest of my life. Provisions were 
abundant, wine not bad, and archdukes, princes, pashas, 
and emirs were entertained ; and I fear the laws of the 
prophet were frequently infringed by our Turkish allies." 
On the llth a flag of truce was dispatched to Suley- 


man Pasha to summon him in the name of the Sultan to 
surrender the town of Beyrout; but as he returned an 
evasive answer, the British admiral ordered the destruc- 
tion of the castles and forts to the right and left of the 
town. Firing was kept up at intervals for three 
successive days ; the effect of the fire on the town being 
tremendous. Many soldiers were killed in the streets by 
shot and shell. 

One of the most useful auxiliaries of the Allies was 
Mr. Eichard "Wood, one of the interpreters of the British 
Embassy in Constantinople, who had been invested with 
extraordinary powers by the Porte for temporary pur- 
poses. This gentleman had been educated in Syria, was 
well acquainted with the language and principal per- 
sonages of these mountainous regions, and all through 
the operations gave proofs of intelligence and zealous 
activity. He caused Arabic versions of the convention 
of London to be distributed in the mountains, which 
had an electrical effect on their inhabitants. Intelligent 
enough to understand that the Egyptian Government 
could not keep its ground with such odds against it, they 
thronged the rugged roads, leading like spiral staircases 
from the fastnesses above to the coast, and eagerly sup- 
plied themselves with the muskets provided for them. 
Eight thousand stand were thus distributed, and more 
applied for them than could be furnished with them. 

The principal place in the neighbourhood is Ghazir, 
situated far above the sea on the brow of a hill. Besides 
cool pure air, it enjoys a very romantic situation, being 
in the middle of an amphitheatre of lofty mountains, 
partly covered with wood, and watered by brooks in all 
directions. At the highest part of the hill was the 
palace of Emir Abdallah Shehab which overlooks the 
whole coast, with the promontory of Beyrout, its town 
and shipping, and the Bay of Djouny seawards, while in 


the opposite direction the landscape is rugged, rocky, 
and mountainous. 

A powerful feudal Christian family had at one time 
possessed this place, but by divisions of inheritance, and 
profuse expenditure in horses and retainers, they had 
been reduced to poverty ; and the Emir Abdallah Shehab 
was, at this period of the war, the wealthy man of the 

Mr. Wood, availing himself of the impression produced 
by the bombardment of Beyrout, marched up to Ghazir 
with two hundred Turks and a hundred marines, to free 
the inhabitants from the presence of the troops of the 
Emir Beshir, the great ally and support of the Egyptians. 
Here the inhabitants received the Anglo-Turks with the 
greatest enthusiasm, intermingling in their ranks and 
offering prayers to the Almighty for their success. At 
the same time the troops of the Emir Beshir, offering no 
cordial resistance, were speedily dispersed. After this 
the Emir Abdallah wrote a letter of submission. Mr. 
Wood conducted him to a tent where he presented him to 
Sir Eobert Stopford and Selim Pasha, who commanded 
the Turkish troops, and whose confirmation of him as 
Governor of Kesrouan had an excellent effect on the 

Meanwhile Ibrahim Pasha, having correct intelligence 
of what was going on, endeavoured, along with Emir 
Halil, to enter the province of Kesrouan, with a view to 
intimidate the mountaineers who had taken arms, whose 
villages were menaced with fire if they joined the Allies 
or refused to give up the muskets distributed. Nor were 
fair promises neglected, while seeking to intimidate the 
mountaineers. Eemission of the obnoxious capitation 
tax for three years was held out ; but the Allies, not to 
be outmanoeuvred, promised its total abolition. 

Acting on the principle of striking sudden and un- 


expected blows in various directions, the towns of 
Djebail and Batroun, to the north of Beyrout, were as- 
sailed by the light movable shipping of the fleet ; but these 
efforts were not unattended by casualties. At the former 
place the ships opened their fire upon the castle, which was 
returned by musket shots. A landing was made the 
marines advancing briskly to the assault ; but, on reach- 
ing within thirty yards of the tower, a destructive fire 
was opened from a crenellated outwork, having a deep 
ditch in front, which was completely masked from the 
fire of the ships. The men falling fast, and the wall of 
the castle being impracticable, with no gate accessible, and 
only the muzzles of the muskets visible through the loop- 
holes, the men were judiciously drawn off. But at night a 
party of armed mountaineers was established in the town, 
and at daylight it was found that the Albanians had evacu- 
ated the castle during the night, leaving their wounded 
behind them. An attempt was made to bombard the fort 
and camp at Tripoli, but the distance was found too great 
to produce the desired effect from the sea. 

The public spirit, at first slow, timid, and groping, 
now shewed a bold front in favour of the Allies, and the 
Egyptian power, fragile at the best, became irreparably 
damaged after the first shocks. That knowledge is power 
is under no circumstances more true than in war. The 
Allies had excellent information of all the movements of 
the Egyptians. The armed mountaineers, hovering on 
their flanks and rear, attacked small parties and convoys, 
while' the Allies could send ammunition and provisions, 
with escorts of four or five men, two or three hours into 
the country. The peasantry, who had been forced under 
pain of death to leave the villages occupied by the Allies, 
began to return in great numbers, and a regular market 
was opened in one of them, to which a confluence of the 
provisions and resources of the country directed itself. 


All the efforts of the emissaries of M. Thiers to retain 
the mountaineers in the Egyptian interest were unsuc- 
cessful. The superior of the French Lazarists arrived 
off the coast in a French steam vessel from Alexandria, 
with a view to prevent the Catholic inhabitants of Mount 
Lebanon from embracing the cause of the Sultan, and 
taking arms against Mohammed Ali ; but the Austrian 
Consul-General in Egypt, having information of the 
design, apprised the Austrian admiral, Baron Bandiera, 
of the fact; and before the superior had time to land, 
the French prefect of the convent of the Lazarists at 
Antourah two hours distance from Djouny visited 
the emissary. He had first obtained the consent of 
Admiral Stopford, which was necessary, inasmuch as the 
convent of Antourah was within the British advanced 
post ; a permission which was readily granted because 
the admiral was not ignorant that the only advice which 
could be given to the new comer was to return forthwith, 
without putting his foot on shore, since the Christian 
mountaineers of all denominations had pronounced them- 
selves for the Sultan and his allies. The consequence 
was that the Lazarist superior, seeing his labour in vain, 
at once returned to Alexandria. 




Ox the 30th of September the Sultan nominated Sir 
Charles Smith, a distinguished British artillery officer, 
to be virtual commander of the Ottoman troops in Syria, 
to the great discontent of Izzet Mohammed Pasha, the 
titular governor of Acre and its dependencies, who was the 
chief representative of the Porte in these military opera- 
tions. " Be it known unto you," recites the firman of 
the imperial will which gave such disgust to the Pasha, 
who belonged to the old leaven of Turkish pride, 
ignorance, and corruption, " that Sir Charles Smith, 
the most illustrious among the noble followers of the 
Messiah, being a man of the most eminent abilities, it 
is most necessary and advantageous that you should act 
under all circumstances according to his opinion and 
judgment ; and you shall not deviate from the path of 
his instruction, but you shall exert yourself to the utmost, 
as you will be held responsible for the commission of 
any action contrary to the advice and opinion of Sir 
Charles Smith. Conform you therefore scrupulously 
to all that is above written and give due credence to the 
imperial cypher." 

Izzet Pasha played to the best of his ability the 
passive part assigned to him, without, however, being 
entirely able to conceal his disgust, and as little his 


overbearing and savage character, which brought down 
upon him the hatred of those who were placed under his 
orders. One day he ordered five hundred blows to be 
given to his cook for having put too much salt into the 
soup. One of Admiral Stopford's interpreters, who, 
fortunately for the wretch, was present, interceded for 
him and obtained his pardon. 

But Ibrahim Pasha still held, not only the high road 
from Beyrout to Damascus, but many of the more 
central and populous points of Lebanon. A revolt had 
been fomented and extended with signal success, which 
gave confidence to the troops of the Sultan, and inflicted 
discouragement on the Egyptians. But no positive 
encounter had taken place between the respective land 
troops. Napier and Jochmus, however, felt that this 
crisis of demoralization must not be thrown away, and 
that a blow must be struck while it lasted. Accordingly 
on the 23rd, at night, a strong force was left to cover 
the camp at Djouny, one of the first rules in war being 
to obtain the possession of a secure basis. The remain- 
ing force of the army, consisting of four battalions of 
Turkish infantry, a battalion of British marines, and two 
detachments of Austrian rocketeers, was formed with a 
view to attack at daybreak the advanced guard of 
Ibrahim Pasha, consisting of a thousand men under the 
Emir Massoud, entrenched at Ardali in a very strong 
mountainous position ; but being taken in the rear, after 
fatiguing marches over precipitous ground, a part of the 
Egyptians were dispersed, and four hundred, having their 
retreat cut off, were made prisoners. In this affair the 
loss on the part of the Allies was small, but the results 
were important, in consequence of its having been the 
first success of the Turks over the Egyptians that had 
taken place for many years. 

Commodore Napier was the soul of the expedition; 


and, fully comprehending that delays were to be avoided 
in the face of an army disheartened, disorganised, and 
partially defeated, his counsels were all for vigorous 
and decisive action for striking fresh blows before the 
enemy could recover himself. The force at the com- 
mand of the Allies was small ; but the elements conspired 
in their favour. Not only sea and land, but rain and 
air not only revolt in the mountains and blockade by 
sea, but steam itself co-operated in conferring ubiquity 
of intelligence, of movement, and of action. 

A reconnaissance was made of the coast from Beyrout 
to Sidon, at which place the Egyptians were found busy 
in fortifying the town and barricading the streets. The 
admiral then decided upon an attack on Sidon, and on 
the 26th of October Commodore Napier joined Admiral 
Stopford with a force of 1400 Turks and marines. The 
town was duly summoned, and, on the refusal of the 
authorities to give it up, was bombarded. A landing 
was then effected. Captain Walker headed the Turks 
in the assault that took place after a breach was made ; 
Commodore Napier, the English; and the Archduke, 
the Austrians. The assault was made in three places 
under the fire of the ships, and to prevent the garrison 
from running away, the steamers kept sending bombs 
away beyond the town and so kept them in. The 
Egyptian troops fought well from the houses, but were 
turned out and driven back to the barracks, where, at 
last, they were compelled to lay down their arms about 
sunset ; and the garrison, composed of between 2,000 
and 3,000 Egyptians were made prisoners. 

On the following day Mr. "Wood assembled the Divan 
of Sidon, and read to them the powers with which he 
was invested by the Porte, and in the name of Izzet 
Pasha established the government in the name of the 
Sultan. Public prayers were offered by the Mufti for 


the success of his arms, and the greatest enthusiasm was 
displayed by all classes of the inhabitants, who were as 
usual ready to throw off the government of the day. 
This event had a great moral effect upon the mountaineers 
around Sidon, and several Emirs of the house of Shehab 
came down to the coast and made their submission. The 
Sheikh of Dair el Kamar came personally to Sidon, and 
stated that Ibrahim Pasha was there with about four 
thousand men, so that it was impossible for the in- 
habitants to leave their families and come down for 
arms, as the moment it became known to him he would 
revenge himself on their families and burn their houses 
in their absence. 

The old and once influential Emir Beshir was in the 
utmost perplexity. Ibrahim Pasha, anxious to retain a 
man who had given solid proofs of his power and autho- 
rity during so many years, neglected no art of persuasion, 
no display of force, and no precautions of espionage to 
retain him within his toils. But this hoary chief, not 
daring to declare openly for the Allies, had nevertheless 
lost all confidence in the star of the Egyptians. He 
therefore sent to Commodore Napier a message by a 
priest, with a request to meet one of his emissaries at the 
advanced posts of the Allies after dark; proposing as 
terms first, the observation of secrecy during the nego- 
tiation ; secondly, that he should retain his government, 
and be guaranteed in it by the four Powers ; and thirdly, 
that he should be allowed time to withdraw his sons and 
grandsons from Ibrahim Pasha before he declared him- 
self. The first and third of these propositions were 
accepted, but Commodore Napier did not feel justified 
in hampering himself with any pledge ; and Mr. "Wood, 
as the political agent of the Porte as well as of the 
British ambassador, being impatient of delay, was obliged 
to grant the Emir a term, so as to preclude further in- 


jury to the interests of the Sultan in Syria. On its 
expiration on the 8th of October, a firman superseding 
him was delivered to another member of the house of 
Shehab, the Emir Beshir El Kasim, who had found 
means to escape with a few horse from the neighbour- 
hood of Beyrout, and had joined the camp of the Allies ; 
and who, at the head of a troop of mountaineers proved a 
most useful commander of an irregular rifle force, having 
in a smart skirmish obtained a considerable advantage 
over Osman Pasha, one of the lieutenants of Ibrahim, 
at Merouba. 

Ibrahim Pasha, having persisted in his system of 
dividing his forces, in order to cover more ground, the 
Allies combined to take advantage of his mistakes. On 
the 8th of October, in the afternoon, General Jochmus 
occupied the heights of Ardali, where the action of the 
24th September had been fought ; and Commodore Napier 
and Selim Pasha, with Colonel Hodges, marching thither 
on the 9th, resolved to drive the Egyptians from their 
position at Kalat Maidin, which was of prodigious natural 
strength, being covered by a deep ravine, and presenting 
three successive lines of entrenchments. The elevation 
of the position, from the depth of the ravine to the 
highest redoubt, was, perhaps, a thousand yards, and in 
many parts the rocks were nearly perpendicular. 

It was in the operation which we are about to detail 
that the well-known Omar Pasha earned his first horse- 
tail. The youthful Lattas was of a nation of heroes. 
Born at Ogulin, on the borders of the Croatian Switzer- 
land, and close to the frontiers of the north-west corner 
of the Ottoman Empire, he was of that race which the 
arms of a Selim and a Suleyman could not entirely sub- 
due, even in the zenith of the martial power of the sons 
of Osman. Strangers to the wealth and luxury of Venice 
and Eagusa, the profession of arms and the lays of the 


minstrel have formed the business and charmed the 
leisure of these heroic mountaineers. When Servia and 
Hungary had been prostrated by the Porte, Croatia was 
the link between the haughty republicans of maritime 
Venice and the successors of Charlemagne. But times 
were altered; and Turkey, no longer the menace of 
Europe, had become the cordial ally of those who led 
the van of European civilization and upheld the balance 
of power. No longer in the immediate service of Austria, 
but in that of the Porte, the youthful Lattas, adopting 
the Turkish language and Moslem religion, pursued one 
of the most curious and remarkable careers of which 
modern history affords an instance. In the campaign 
we record, the ex-Croat officer, now become Omar Bey, 
shewed, in a subordinate position and in the execution of 
plans devised by others, those qualities of comprehensive 
intelligence, of wary caution, and of undaunted audacity 
at the moment of decisive action, which exercised in 
larger fields, and in independent commands-^-have pro- 
cured him a solid reputation as a general-in-chief, and 
have associated his name with the unfeudalization of the 
Ottoman Empire, the consolidation of its domestic ad- 
ministration, and the skilful defence of its frontiers 
against the most formidable of its foreign foes. 

With the double view of saving a great loss of life, 
and of obtaining greater results, Omar Bey was directed 
to march at night with two battalions of Turks on 
Argentoun ; and, descending into the deep gorge of the 
Dog river, with great caution and secresy, to cross over 
to Beckfeya in the rear of the Egyptians, and effect a 
junction with the Emir Beshir. Had Omar Bey been 
discovered in the bottom of the gorge, his corps would 
have been destroyed ; but this very dangerous manoeuvre 
was executed by him with great skill, and, at about two 
o'clock next day, a firing in the rear of the Egyptian 


position announced to Napier and Jochmus that the 
movement projected had been executed. 

Commodore Napier, having ascertained that Ibrahim 
Pasha commanded the Egyptians in person, had ordered 
up to the heights of Ardali the three remaining battalions 
from Djouny, and two Turkish field pieces ; so that when 
the fire of Omar Bey was heard approaching, the Allies 
had also seven battalions ready to attack in front. One 
of these battalions, with the mountaineer rifles, were 
directed to cross the ravine which separated the Turks 
from the Egyptians, and to arrive on their line of retreat 
by the road to Brumana; while four battalions were to 
storm the heights of Kalat Meidan, and two more te 
remain as reserves on the heights of Ardali. The feelings 
of Napier at this moment have been described by himself in 
that racy style of undisguised self-glorification with which, 
next to his unquestionable merits, his contemporaries are 
most familiar, and which too frequently recals the 
dubious literary taste of an equestrian circus address : 

u It was rather a new occurrence for a British Com- 
modore to be on the top of mount Lebanon, commanding 
a Turkish army, and preparing to fight a battle that 
would decide the fate of Syria ; but the very novelty 
was exciting to a degree. I was in my glory. Standing 
on an eminence, surrounded by the general officers and 
my own staff, I fancied myself a great "commander;'' 
and, surveying the enemy, who had not quite so brilliant 
an appearance as the Scottish host although I could not 
exclaim with Marmion : 

"Oh, well Lord Lyon, hast thou said, 
Thy King from warfare to dissuade 
Were' but a vain essay. 

For, by St. George, -were that host mine, 
No power, imperial or'divine, 
Should once my soul to rest incline, 
Till I had dimmed their armour's shine 
< In glorious battle fray ! " 

VOL. II. 13 


yet I said to my friend Hodges, " If we can get the Turks 
and mountaineers to mount that rugged hill, and Omar 
Bey attacks at the same time their rear, Ibrahim will get 
such a dressing as he never had before." 

After two hours' fighting, and the display of the most 
daring gallantry on the part of the Turks, the heights 
were carried, aided by Omar Bey, who struck boldly into 
the rear of the Egyptians, and at the close of the action 
was joined by Napier and Jochmus, who had crowned the 
heights. Thus, taken in front and in rear, Ibrahim 
Pasha had to throw himself into the gorge, not twenty- 
five men of any of his corps remaining together at sunset, 
and he himself escaping with difficulty, accompanied by 
a few horsemen. Eight hundred prisoners, with all the 
stores and ammunition, fell into the hands of the Allies on 
this occasion, as well as a green banner, which was 
subsequently presented to the Sultan with due solemnity. 
Mght alone put an end to the conflict. In the dark the 
troops of Omar Bey unwittingly got into collision with 
a part of the native force under Commodore Napier, and 
the conflict was ended with difficulty ; opponents, reci- 
procally supposed to be prisoners, and who refused to 
surrender, turned out to be allies. 

As the displacement of the keystone of an arch entails 
the collapse of everything around it, this defeat of 
Ibrahim Pasha brought other disasters in its immediate 
train, which cleared all the hill country of the Egyptians. 
Suleyman Pasha having been weakened by the detach- 
ment of four battalions to support the commander-in- 
chief, had withdrawn himself altogether from Beyrout in 
the night of the 9th of October, and concentrated himself 
in a camp one hour and a half east from the town, 
having the river between himself and the place. But 
the news of the entire defeat of Ibrahim Pasha having 
reached Suleyman Pasha's camp, his troops were seized 


with a panic ; and, abandoned by them, he fled in the 
direction of Damascus with a few squadrons of horse. 
At daylight Sir Charles Smith and Captain Henderson, 
of the Gorgon, landed at Beyrout for the purpose of ascer- 
taining how matters stood, when a colonel of the 
Egyptian army treated for terms of surrender for two 
thousand of his officers and men, the town being no 
longer defended. Another body of infantry of Suleyman 
Pasha's corps in camp followed their example ; and thus 
not only Beyrout, with its stores, but twenty field pieces, 
with camp equipage, fell into the hands of the Allies. 
Tripoli was also evacuated, without firing a shot, upon 
an Austrian corvette anchoring off the town. 

Between Sidon and Acre inwards is the southern 
portion of the Lebanon chain, inhabited by the Moutalis, 
who, as the name denotes, adopted the Shea or Ali-ite 
form of Islamism, in common with the Persians, and in 
contradistinction to the Sunnite Turks and Arabs, who 
hold by the rite of Aboubekr. This population begged 
to be furnished with three thousand stand of arms by 
the Allies, in order to take possession of the passes ; and 
on the 29th October, when it was finally determined that 
the siege of Acre should be undertaken, Omar Bey was 
detached for the purpose of advancing from Sidon with 
two thousand Turks upon Tyre, from thence to occupy 
the pass of the White Mountain to the northward of 
Acre. On the 31st the admiral made sail from Beyrout 
roads, having previously embarked in a squadron, with 
three thousand Turks under the immediate command of 
Selim Pasha, and small detachments of royal artillery 
and sappers. 

Omar Bey reached the position assigned him at the 
same time that the fleet appeared off Acre, on the 2nd 
of November, and at two p.m. on the following day the 
cannonade and bombardment commenced with great 


spirit. Sir Eobert Stopford directed the operations from 
a steamer, and Commodore Napier, in the Powerful, 
followed by the Princess Charlotte, Thunderer, Bellero- 
phon, and Pique, having got well round the shoal, now 
bore up and ran along shore towards the north angle. 
As the ships neared the fortress, the colours were hoisted 
from two flagstaffs, one on the citadel, and the other lower 
down. Commodore Napier desired the bow-guns of the 
Powerful to be fired to prevent the Egyptians pointing 
with correctness. At this time, the southern division, 
led in with great judgment and gallantry by Captain 
Collier of the Castor, were fast approaching their position ; 
and, when well within range, the Egyptians opened their 
fire, the shot going considerably too high. In a few 
minutes they passed the circular redoubt, where only 
three or four guns were mounted, and then anchored 
abreast off the sea wall, defended by forty guns, in six 
and a half fathom water. 

The Egyptians had not calculated upon the fleet lying 
close in under the ramparts of the fortress, which resulted 
in the British broadsides telling fearfully, while the balls 
from the fortress flew over the hulls of the British 
vessels. An accident of a tremendous character, produc- 
ing the most decisive results, also occurred. During the 
bombardment, the principal magazine, and the whole of 
the arsenal blew up, in consequence of a shell supposed 
to have been projected from the Gorgon. By the ex- 
plosion, two entire regiments, formed in position on the 
ramparts, were annihilated, and every living creature 
within the area of 60,000 square yards ceased to exist. 
The loss of life was variously computed at from 1200 
to 2,000 persons. Masses of solid building were also 
blown to a great height up in the air, and came down again 
in a shower of fragments, which greatly damaged the for- 
tifications on the land side. 


During the night, the governor with a portion of 
the garrison, quitted the town, which was taken posses- 
sion of by the allied troops at daylight on the following 
morning. The British officers found the devastation 
indescribable ; dead bodies of men, animals, and fragments 
of wall beins; scattered in all directions. 


There was great difficulty in restoring order, in conse- 
quence of the propensity to plunder, and the confusion 
of languages. Another explosion also took place; for 
five casemates, filled with fixed ammunition, had been 
neglected, although near the smouldering crater of the 
former explosion, and notwithstanding the instructions 
of Sir Charles Smith for their removal. The ammunition 
blew up three days after the bombardment, at intervals 
of five or six seconds between the ignition of each ; and 
in a moment the garrison was enveloped in darkness, 
accompanied by showers of balls and the explosion of 
shells of every denomination. 




THE important event which we have just described 
removed the last remnant of film from the eyes of Mo- 
hammed Ali. A bold attack of the united French fleet 
on the maritime forces of Britain, Austria, and Turkey, 
then scattered along the coasts of Egypt and Syria, and 
aided by the Egyptian squadron making a sortie from 
Alexandria, must have delayed the evacuation of Syria, 
and prolonged for some time at least the power of Mo- 
hammed Ali in Asiatic Turkey. But the prudence of 
Louis Philippe, aided by the sound sense and experience 
of M. Guizot, and other statesmen of eminence, withheld 
from M. Thiers that support of his adventurous policy 
which was isolating France from Europe, under the 
erroneous impression that the interests of that highly 
military nation were to be found in a rivalry with 
England in Egypt, and in the support of the quasi-inde- 
pendence, and hostility of this part of the Ottoman 
Empire to the metropolis. All this was founded on 
the assumption that Great Britain had an eye to the 
annexation of Egypt a doctrine professed and enter- 
tained by no British party, and by no eminent British 
statesman, the maintenance of the integrity of the 


Ottoman Empire being a broad and secure principle, 
recognised by all those European statesmen most dis- 
tinguished for political genius and political morality. 

On the 8th of November the consul-general of France 
had a public audience for the purpose of presenting some 
officers, when Mohammed Ali who was at that time 
in conference with Achmet Pasha, and other officers 
of the fleet before them, and in the presence of 
many Europeans, loudly complained of the treatment he 
had received from the French Government, telling M. 
Cochelet that the present disastrous state of his affairs 
was entirely owing to his having listened to the counsels 
of France. Then, addressing those around him, he said 
that he had lost all confidence in the French Govern- 
ment, that he had abandoned the hope of its affording 
him any effectual aid in the present crisis, and that in 
future he would be guided by his own views. 

The following day he received the intelligence of the 
fall of Acre, which threw him into the deepest dejection. 
He however shortly afterwards despatched a courier to 
Ibrahim Pasha, with instructions to evacuate the whole 
of Syria ; and intimated to those in his confidence that 
he was now prepared to give up the Turkish fleet, and 
comply with all the demands of the Sultan, provided he 
could be insured the quiet possession of Egypt. Up to 
this point he had gaily kept up his spirits, conversing on 
the events of the war with the coolness of a spectator ; 
but for three successive days after the intelligence of 
the fall of Acre, his silence, loss of appetite, and his des- 
pondency, were visible to all about him. " Effendumuz 
keifsiz," "Our lord is healthless," was the expression 
which I heard for some days from his officers, after the 
fall of Acre. 

Admiral Stopford having thought it necessary te 
increase the squadron off Alexandria to six sail of the 


line, Commodore Napier went thither to take the com- 
mand, in order to make a powerful demonstration, whilst 
the rest of the squadron, with the exception of a ship 
of the line, was to be withdrawn from the coast in con- 
sequence of the advanced state of the season, On the 21st 
of November Napier arrived off Alexandria, and before 
communicating with the squadron, ran in and recon- 
noitred the defences. The sea face was covered with 
guns ; but, with the exception of the castle, Napier judged 
that there was nothing which could resist a strong naval 
force : at the same time an attack without troops could 
have led to no result. 

On joining the- squadron, Napier was put in possession 
of the copy of a letter from Viscount Palmerston to 
Viscount Ponsonby, stating it to be the opinion of Her 
Majesty's Government that, if Mohammed Ali should at 
an early period make his submission to the Sultan, 
restore the fleet, and evacuate Syria, he should have the 
hereditary tenure of the Pashalic of Egypt. In addition 
to this, Ibrahim Pasha, having given up his system of 
scattering his forces, had concentrated them at Zahle and 
Damascus, where his chief depots of provisions had been 
established ; and, with the cavalry at his command, was 
able to defeat any force that might have been sent 
against him, either in the plains of Ccelo-Syria or on 
the comparatively level country in the environs of the 
capital. Cognizant of the real aspect of affairs, and 
judging correctly of the impression that the fall of Acre 
must have made on Mohammed Ali, Commodore Napier 
determined to take on himself the responsibility of 
opening a communication with Mohammed Ali through 
Captain Mansel of the Eodney, who had previously made 
the acquaintance of the Pasha. This officer, entering 
Alexandria with a flag of truce, conveyed to Boghos 
Bey a letter of which the chief purport is not worth 


detailing, but the appendix to which, like a feminine 
postscript, was the most important part : 

"Will his Highness permit an old sailor to suggest 
to, him an easy means of reconciliation to the Sultan and 
the other great Powers of Europe ?. 

" Let his Highness frankly, freely, and unconditionally 
deliver up the Ottoman fleet, and withdraw his troops 
from Syria : the miseries of war would then cease, and 
his Highness in his latter years would have ample and 
satisfactory occupation in cultivating the arts of peace, 
and probably laying foundation for the restoration of the 
throne of the Ptolemies. 

" He may rely upon it Egypt is not invulnerable ; 
he may rely upon it Alexandria itself may be made to 
share the fate of Acre ; and his Highness, who has now 
an opportunity of founding a dynasty, may sink into a 
simple Pasha. 

I am," &.c. 

The reply of Boghos Bey was conciliatory, and far 
from insisting on the retention of Syria and the fleet. 
Mohammed AH gave it to be understood, by a variety 
of circumlocutions and excuses, that the war in Syria 
had been precipitately entered into at a period when his 
favourable dispositions towards a settlement were mis- 
understood. In short, both the tone of this letter and 
the information aiforded to the Commodore by Mr. 
Larking, Her Britannic Majesty's intelligent consul, 
induced him again to write to Boghos Bey, pressing 
for a distinct answer, as he had no discretionary power 
and must act against the Pasha according to the best of 
his abilities, but that he was nevertheless ready to have 
an interview with the Pasha. 

On the morning of the 25th, Commodore Napier 
entered the harbour of Alexandria in the Medea steamer, 


passed through the Turco-Egyptian fleet, and anchored 
off the palace. He then landed and proceeded to the 
house of the British consul, Mr. Larking; and on the 
following day, at noon, he proceeded to the palace, where 
a battalion of Egyptian troops presented arms in the 
courtyard, while a band of music was playing martial 
airs. After several days of discussion and negotiation, a 
convention was agreed to, dated the 27th of November, 
1840, by which Mohammed Ali engaged to evacuate 
Syria, and to restore the fleet ; and at the same time a 
suspension of hostilities was to take place. Not only 
was the Egyptian army to have the liberty of retiring 
from Syria with its artillery and stores of every descrip- 
tion, but free passage was to be given to vessels bringing 
back wounded and invalids by sea. The convention 
being moreover based on the statement that the Allied 
Powers had recommended the Sublime Porte to give 
Mohammed Ali the hereditary government of Egypt, 
a guarantee to that effect was implied but not established 

Among the reasons that induced Commodore Napier 
to arrive at a prompt conclusion of negotiations was the 
state of the weather at this advanced season. On the 
very day after the conclusion of the convention, a storm 
came on, such as had been seldom seen in the Mediter- 
ranean by the oldest persons, and of which the author of 
this history was a witness, he residing at that time in 
the marine residence of Mr. Larking, Her Majesty's 
consul, who had charge of the archives and of the 
political affairs after the departure of the diplomatic 
agent. The wind blew from the north-west in violent 
gusts. Black and murky clouds covered the face of the 
heavens, sometimes chequered with openings through 
which the sun shot brief and transitory rays ; and the 
sea, like mountains and valleys in. motion, rolled its 


huge waves, which, breaking on the rocks and islets 
between the new harbour and the baths of Cleopatra, 
made the coast a line of white foam. In the old harbour 
the massive ships of the line and three deckers laboured 
up and down at anchor, as if influenced by the breezes 
of the open sea. At night the new Pharos warned those 
outside of safety and of danger ; but the forked lightning 
rending the clouds was the best lighthouse on that 
fearful night. For two successive days the storm did 
not abate ; the houses shook with the loud rattle of the 
thunder, and the harbour several miles in length was 
dotted with merchant ships driven ashore. Napier's 
squadron successfully rode out the gale : the Powerful 
was struck by a heavy sea which started her forechannels 
and endangered the foremast, and the rigging of the 
Eodney and Cambridge had given out so much that their 
masts became insecure ; but no loss had taken place. The 
Bellerophon at Beyrout had a narrow escape, having 
been obliged to cut her cable, and make sail ; and after 
scraping the land as far down the coast as Lattakiah, was 
saved by a miraculous shift of wind. The Pique, at 
Caifa, near Acre, was obliged to cut away her masts to 
prevent her going on shore, and at the same time the 
Zebra was stranded. Commodore Napier, having 
weathered the storm, and seeing no further necessity 
for keeping the squadron at sea, proceeded to Marmarice 
Bay, where he anchored on the 8th of December, and was 
much gratified to be received by the fleet with three 
cheers and the rigging manned. 

Admiral Stopford thought proper to withhold his 
approval and ratification of the convention signed at 
Alexandria, not only on account of what he characterized 
as the unauthorised manner and unnecessary haste with 
which so important a document was executed, while 
the commander-in-chief was within two days' sail' but 


on the ground that it would be productive of more evil 
than good, and occasion much embarrassment. To this 
Napier answered that his non-communication with the 
admiral was from no want of respect, but that it was 
of the utmost importance to seize the opportunity, while 
the Pasha was highly incensed against M. Thiers, of 
bringing him without loss of time to terms, without the 
mediation of France. 

Sir Charles Smith also disapproved of the convention 
in a severe letter, beginning with the words, " Had you 
fortunately abstained from honouring me with your letter 
of the 27th instant, I should have been spared the 
pain of replying to it ; " to which Napier answered in a 
style of blunt nautical parody, " Had I unfortunately 
abstained from writing to you, and the admiral had 
quitted the coast, you would have had just cause to have 
complained of my want of courtesy. I quite disagree 
with you that the convention was prejudicial to the 
interests of the Porte, and I am happy to say it has been 
approved of, with the exception of the guarantee, by 
Her Majesty's Government, and I am now going to 
Alexandria to see it carried into execution." 

The Porte and the ambassadors at Constantinople 
also disapproved of the convention. But Viscount 
Palmerston was, upon the whole, satisfied that a con- 
clusion had been arrived at, and he requested the Lords 
of the Admiralty to convey to Commodore Napier the 
approval of Her Majesty's Government. But at the 
same time it was necessary that Sir Eobert Stopford 
should make known to Mohammed Ali that his demand 
that the four Powers should guarantee to him the grant 
of the hereditary government of Egypt could not be 
complied with ; for it would have been inconsistent 
with the principles which guided the conduct of the 
British Government to guarantee to a subject a grant 


of administrative authority made to him by his 
sovereign : and as one of the main objects of the treaty 
of the 15th of July was to uphold the independence of 
the Sultan, such an interference would have been incom- 
patible with it. For these reasons neither Great Britain 
singly, nor the four Powers jointly, could give the 
guarantee demanded; but they agreed to counsel the 
Porte to establish Mohammed Ali in the hereditary 
tenure of Egypt. With these instructions Sir Robert 
Stopford complied ; Captain Fanshaw, an able officer, 
having been despatched to Alexandria with the noti- 




BUT we must now return to Ibrahim Pasha, who, 
after his defeats in mount Lebanon, concentrated himself 
in Damascus, to which point Ahmed Menikli Pasha 
directed all the scattered corps in the north of Syria, 
with exemplary coolness, method, and ability. Ibrahim 
Pasha himself, under the pressure of circumstances 
enough to unman the boldest, has made his retreat from 
Syria a memorial of his greatness of mind and military 
ability, which will bear a comparison with anything that 
he had previously done in the more palmy days of his 
Arabian and Syrian conquests. Giving way neither to 
despair, nor even to dejection, he set about boldly the 
task of reorganising his shattered divisions, and the pro- 
viding of food and transport for so numerous a force, 
including a large colony of civilians and their families of 
Egyptian origin or connection. The discipline he kept 
was the admiration of the Damascenes. 

Defeated troops are in all ages and countries prone 
to indemnify themselves by the plunder and maltreat- 
ment of the unoffending inhabitants; but the severe 
examples made by Ibrahim Pasha, and his orderly police, 
fully answered their purpose on this trying occasion. 
On the 29th of December he evacuated Damascus. All 
the bazaars were ordered to be shut ; and, having assured 


himself that nothing was in the illegal possession of his 
men, he took his station outside the southern gate ; and, 
making the whole army defile before him, he did not 
pursue his journey until the last man, horse, and camel 
had quitted the place. Only a small body of Koordish 
irregular cavalry deserted on the occasion. 

At El-Mezereib, Ibrahim Pasha divided his forces 
into five columns. The artillery, the baggage, and the 
women, were sent on to Akaba on the Red Sea, to be em- 
barked for Suez ; and this corps he entrusted to Suleyman 
Pasha. The other four divisions made the best of their 
way to Gaza. When they left Damascus they had only 
sixteen days' provisions, in addition to which they 
obtained a small supply of flour at El-Mezereib. The 
cavalry were sixteen days on the march, the infantry 
twenty-seven, and Ibrahim's corps thirty-four. Small 
supplies were occasionally received from the villages, but 
they avoided the great towns, and made for the Dead 
Sea, which they kept sight of, and approached as near 
as the nature of the country would allow. 

Gaza was important, for it was still occupied by 
Mahmoud Bey and some other superior officers of the 
Egyptians, with three thousand cavalry and nine guns. 
It is too remote from the sea to be acted upon by naval 
artillery, and was all-essential to the Egyptians, Gaza 
being the key of their line of retreat and the locality of 
their depots of provisions ; and it is the last town on the 
cultivable territory of Syria before the desert begins. 

General Jochmus, at the head of a body of Turkish 
cavalry aided by his intelligent aides-de-camp, Baron 
Dumont and Count Szechenyi showed great activity in 
the earlier part of the retreat, in rousing the hostile 
populations of the Hauran, the Jordan, and Nablouse, to 
annoy the Egyptian army. He was desirous of captur- 
ing and destroying the stores at Gaza ; but these views 


were not warmly seconded by the British admiral and 
officers, in consequence of the negotiations then pending 
with Mohammed AH. For, although the Napier conven- 
tion had been disallowed by the admiral, pro formd, the 
de facto evacuation of Syria was in course of rapid ac- 
complishment ; and there being no grounds for impugning 
the good faith of Mohammed Ali as far as this conven- 
tion was concerned, General Michell, who now com- 
manded the British force, felt that he ought not to be 
behind the Egyptians in scrupulous punctilio. 

The army of Ibrahim Pasha suffered very severely 
in the retreat through a country deficient in roads, 
resources, and population ; and the inclement weather 
of the middle of winter told severely on troops from the 
torrid soil of Egypt. The actual encounters between 
the Egyptians and the Allies were few and unimportant. 
At Nedjdel, near Gaza, the cavalry of the two forces got 
into collision, and in a gallant and successful charge, 
Colonel, now General, Hose, was severely wounded. It 
may, however, be said, that the Egyptians accom- 
plished their retreat with a steadiness that does them 
honour, Ibrahim Pasha being familiar with the military 
geography of the south of Syria from Dan to Beersheba. 
The Allies were not without casualties ; and Brigadier- 
General Michell, a most meritorious officer, succumbed 
to exhaustion and continued exposure to rain in this 
inclement season, complicated by old wounds received 
on the fields of the Peninsula. 

At length the formal orders to evacuate were given 
by Mohammed Ali, on the conclusion of the arrange- 
ments described in our last -chapter. At the same time, 
the British officers pledged themselves that no further 
molestation or obstacle should be offered to the complete 
evacuation ; and Colonel Rose, having been sent to 
communicate with Ibrahim, fell in with him on the 


31st January, about four hours from Gaza, which town 
he entered with him the same afternoon. When he 
came up with Ibrahim Pasha's column there were two 
lines of videttes flanking it towards the Syrian side, and 
mounted and dismounted cavalry, to prevent desertion. 
He rode for several miles along the column, which was 
in great disorder, and in fact broken up into groups of 
men in twos and threes, some armed, others not, and 
some hardly able to walk. He saw two standards, one 
without any escort, the other with a guard of two men, 
who must have belonged to battalions which had beea 
broken up on account of the casualties. Ibrahim Pasha's 
own horse had had no barley that day ; the troops had 
been three days without water, and had subsisted chiefly 
on mule and donkey flesh, which sold at a high price. 
Two hundred determined cavalry might with great ease 
have swept away all that part of the column which 
Colonel Eose saw ; he entered it at about two-thirds of 
its length. 

Colonel Alderson, who was an eye-witness of their 
arrival at Gaza, and collected all the information he 
could, states that Ibrahim left Damascus with 62,499 
souls, including women and children ; and that on his ar- 
rival at Gaza, there were not above 30,000 souls: besides 
which there were between nine and ten thousand men 
forming the column of Suleyman Pasha ; so that the 
loss could not have been less than 20,000 souls, or one- 
third of the whole army. There were many deserters ; 
but several thousands must have perished by hunger, 
fatigue, disease, and the inclemency of the season; for 
in such a retreat, without shelter, comforts, or medicines, 
disease and death are almost synonymous. 

The appearance of Ibrahim Pasha himself at this 
period was that of a man considerably past his prime. 
He was very fat, with a large full projecting eye, a hand- 

VOL. II. 14 


some nose, and a broad forehead projecting over the eyes 
and then suddenly retiring. He had strongly marked 
eyebrows and a thin grey moustache. He did not appear 
pleased when Colonel Eose gave him Mohammed Ali's 
letter ; and it seemed to the Colonel that he was either 
affecting high spirits, or that he had been drinking too 
much. He drank frequently from a bottle which hung 
in front of his saddle, which an Egyptian colonel of 
artillery said was filled with claret; and though then 
suffering under a very bad attack of jaundice, his eyes 
and head being quite yellow, he talked and laughed 
constantly with his servants. On receiving Mohammed 
Ali's letter he was agitated, and it took him five minutes 
to read it, although it only consisted of four lines. 
Whilst he was thus employed, his camel-rider and chief 
groom were also endeavouring to read it over his 
shoulder. Colonel Eose rode with him for about four 
hours, and accompanied him to Gaza. He spoke with 
considerable bitterness of the Turks. He said, " Why 
have you turned out the Seraskier?'' Colonel Eose 
replied that he believed the Turkish Government had 
recalled him because they were not satisfied with his 
conduct. He answered, " Oh ! they are all alike ; they 
smoke all day, and have people to wash their hands.'' 
Colonel Eose said, " The present Seraskier is a very good 
man and soldier.'' " Oh yes ! '' he replied, " as long as 
he is in the saddle ; as soon as he sits down he will rob 
like the rest;" on which he laughed very much. "I 
am the only man," he said, " to manage the Arabs and 
Bedouins, who never had any master before me : I could 
and did cut off their heads, which the Turks never will 
do. Lord Palmerston, from London, and Lord Ponsonby, 
from Constantinople, will have to come here to manage 
Syria." Colonel Eose said, that certainly they had done 
so much without coming to the country, that there was 


no knowing what they might effect were they actually 
to do so. 

The Pasha's reception at Gaza was remarkable : the 
people flocked from curiosity to see him, but his entry 
formed a singular contrast to that of the Turkish troops into 
the different towns and villages which they had occupied 
for the first time. In the latter case the reception was 
enthusiastic, the men lining the roads and saluting them 
with all the varieties of an Eastern welcome, and the 
women crowding the house-tops, and making with their 
tongues that extraordinary noise which is meant to 
denote extreme pleasure. But, on the passage of Ibrahim 
Pasha, there was a look of deep-rooted dislike on the 
faces of the people, which even their dread of him could 
not conceal. He, contrary to the eastern fashion, saluted 
no one, no one saluted him : certainly, as an inhabitant 
afterwards said to Colonel Eose, "Not a tongue nor a 
heart blessed him.'' 

When Colonel Alderson and Captain Loriny went 
to see Ibrahim Pasha, after having shewn that they did 
not wish to intrude on his privacy, he received them 
with loud expressions of joy, made them sit down, 
ordered coffee, and, asking if they liked music, sent for 
an Arab band, consisting of a violin like a tenor, but 
with five strings, a dulcimer, a guitar, and two men who 
sang. The music itself was bearable, but when the men 
commenced singing at the top of their voices it was 
anything but harmonious. His Highness had certainly 
no very refined taste in music. 

"When they entered, the Pasha was surrounded by his 
generals, playing vingt-un for handfuls of gazees (gold 
dollars). He showed, his character in this too, being 
always ready to back his own play, and loud in his 
expressions of delight when successful. He apologised 
for being found so employed, but said he had nothing 


else to do there ; but that, when at Cairo, they had their 
farms to attend to and plenty of business to occupy 
their time. 

He was evidently a man of considerable talent, and of 
great energy, when needed; and he appeared to have 
the most unbounded control over those by whom he was 
surrounded. This influence arose partly from fear of 
him, and from the known energy of his character and 
the confidence everyone had in his succeeding in 
whatever he undertook. His smile was anything but 
agreeable ; and would, as it seemed to his visitors, have 
sat on his features, whether ordering an execution or 
welcoming a guest. When amongst his generals, if 
in a good humour, he showed it by practical jokes, 
pulling the beard of one, hitting another with his fist, 
or pushing a third about. They all seemed to bear 
this as the fondling of a tamed lion or tiger whelp, which 
his master might declare to be quite safe, but whose 
sportiveness was felt by those exposed to it might have 
a disagreeable ending. 

The season of the year was very unpropitious for 
embarking troops on the coast of Syria, and the position 
of Gaza is most treacherous, being in a cul de sac of 
the Mediterranean, from whence there is no escape 
should the wind blow on the land; while the surf is 
generally so high that the embarcation of troops is 
attended with danger. The Egyptian Admiral, with 
eight sail of vessels acting as transports, was indefatigable 
in his exertions, and Ibrahim and his generals were 
frequently in attendance. There being no quay, the 
Arabs, whether sick or well, were obliged to strip, take 
their clothes on their heads, and wade up to their 
armpits. Thus men women and children were at length 
set afloat, until the army was conveyed to Damietta. 
Ibrahim Pasha remained until the last, and embarked 


on the 18th February ; at the same time, the last corps 
of cavalry took their route by land for El-Arish and 
Gaza. The last town of Syria was thus put in possession 
of the troops of the Sultan. 

The greatest sufferings of the Egyptian army were 
those undergone by the division of artillery under 
Suleyman Pasha, which moved direct south along the 
road of the Mecca pilgrims to the east of the Dead Sea, 
and onwards to the Gulf of Akaba. Suleyman marched 
on the 7th of January out of Mezareib, which may be 
called the last town of Syria on the land side ; and on 
the 15th, the corps, after much suffering, arrived at 
Mahaan. This is a place consisting of two walled 
villages, within a few hundred yards of each other, in- 
habited by Arabs who make a trade of supplying the 
Mecca caravan with necessaries, the larger village having 
above two thousand inhabitants. Here are always large 
stores of provisions. An attempt had been made by the 
pursuing Turks to get the inhabitants to sell and destroy 
their stores ; but Suleyman Pasha got a Bedouin Sheikh 
to represent that if the stores were destroyed the town 
would be exposed to the vengeance of the Egyptians: 
and so, on his arrival, 70,000 piastres' worth of provisions 
were procured for the army. It was only by stern 
discipline that the famished troops could be restrained 
from plundering the place ; but Suleyman had taken his 
precautions, and menaced with death those who set foot 
within the walls. Two men who transgressed the order 
were actually shot, and this saved both the town and 
the army. 

Suleyman Pasha now turned aside from the Mecca 
pilgrim road, and took that of Akaba, which is the other 
horn on the head of the Eed Sea, corresponding with 
that of Suez. Here he arrived, after encountering great 
difficulties in the transport of the guns through a granitic 


valley, which was at one place shut in by a ruinous gate. 
At Akaba the army remained a week, and found an old 
fort on a rock, where the guns were temporarily stored 
up in order to be transported by sea to Suez. By far 
the worst sufferings of the army were on the road from 
Akaba to Suez, where a great number of horses died, and 
also many soldiers. The horses were up to their bellies 
in sand, no water was procurable, and no vegetation 
was visible, except a few stunted mimosas, so that even 
the Bedouins do not encamp here. At Nahle, there was 
a little fort garrisoned by a few irregular troops, and 
inside of it a well of nauseous water. It was a terrible 
scene, recalling the French retreat from Syria, to see 
men and animals rush to the well with disease and 
despair depicted on their countenances. But here again 
the forethought and firmness of Suleyman had provided 
disciplinary checks against mutiny. The battalions were 
watered in successive order, and then marched off again. 
Unfortunately, the water proved a poison to many ex- 
hausted men, who immediately died. Such is the force 
of habit on the human frame, for the people of many 
places relish brackish water, and consider it more invi- 
gorating than sweet water. 

The troops no longer marched together ; for the only 
enemy was hunger and thirst, and the horses were so 
weak that many mounted men had to pursue the journey 
on foot as they best could. One night, the moon, which 
had hitherto shone brightly, was obscured by clouds ; 
and this circumstance excited feelings of superstitious 
terror in the minds of the soldiers, whose physical 
systems were already lowered by exhaustion. On a 
sudden they manifested indescribable joy, on perceiving 
a long caravan defiling on the horizon, and which proved, 
as was anticipated, to be the succours sent from Suez 
by Mohammed Ali's order. But for this timely support 


the whole division might have perished. At Suez the 
army found abundance of provisions and water, and 
rested itself until the detachments were successively 
drafted across the desert to Cairo, where Suleyman 
Pasha arrived on the llth February. Seven thousand 
men, three thousand horses, and the whole of the 
artillery of his corps re-entered Egypt, after a retreat 
conducted by Suleyman, under circumstances of great 
difficulty, with unquestionable ability. 

Meanwhile, the Turkish fleet had been restored in 
due form to the officers of the Sultan, in the harbour 
of Alexandria. Admiral Walker hoisted his flag on 
board the Mahmoudieh, a three-decker of 130 guns; 
and on the 20th January, 1841, he sailed for Marmarice 
Bay, that beautiful landlocked anchorage on the coast 
of Caramana. 

Thus terminated all the military operations. With 
regard to the interior of Egypt, although Mohammed 
Ali was strong enough not to fear any rising of the 
peasantry against his oppressive rule, yet he deemed 
it advisable to issue a proclamation stating his view of 
his Syrian disasters, a sort of twenty-ninth bulletin 
of his grand army, couched in the following terms : 

" Everything is new and changeable in this world ; 
so the joys of peace often follow fierce war. When we 
look at the progress of events, from the Creation to the 
present time, we see them directed by an Almighty and 
Unfailing Hand, and that the creature, however he may 
think or act, cannot alter the decrees of the Creator. 
No oscillation in the scale of destiny takes place without 
His permission and command. Hence it has come to 
pass that Commodore Napier, the commander of the 
British fleet in these seas, has made known to the 
Pasha that the hereditary possession of Egypt by his 
family would be in accordance with the views of the 


great Powers of Europe. It has, therefore, been found 
good to spare the blood of the Moslems, and to impart 
contentment to the subjects, so that everybody may re- 
joice in peace, and follow his occupations, whether in 
handicraft, trade, or agriculture. We have ordered our 
Seraskier to evacuate Syria, and to return with our 
Egyptian army; therefore, the present writing is made 
known to all our servants and subjects." 

If Mohammed Ali was dissatisfied with the perform- 
ances of his army, the army was equally dissatisfied with 
the humour they found him in, after the great difficulties 
and sufferings they had gone through in support of his 
Syrian schemes. Sagacious and talented as he was, 
European flattery and his own complacent vanity had 
so completely deceived him as to the reality and solidity 
of his power, that the reactive shock most poignantly 
offended his self-love. Ibrahim Pasha was also deeply 
mortified at the result of the Syrian campaign ; and for 
some time Mohammed Ali and Ibrahim Pasha did not 
see each other. Ahmed Menikli Pasha, the most capa- 
ble of his Syrian lieutenants, after Suleyman, and who 
in all circumstances had done his duty with energy and 
skill, was also disgusted with his reception when he 
visited Cairo, although the moudirship of Benisouf had 
been given him. 

But we must now close this portion of our narrative 
with some mention of the diplomatic transactions con- 
sequent on the expulsion of the Egyptians from Syria. 
The first of these was necessarily the submission of 
Mohammed Ali to the Porte, followed by the grant of 
the hereditary government of Egypt, and the concluding 
act of this drama, comprising the cessation of the isolated 
attitude of France, and the concurrence of the five great 
Powers in an act guaranteeing the closing of the Dar- 
danelles to the ships of war of all nations, thereby 


involving on the part of each of the high contracting 
Powers an abnegation of isolated pressure on the Otto- 
man Empire, the observance of which understanding re- 
moves the chief danger of contention from among European 
Powers, and the infraction of which can never take place 
without imminent peril to the peace of the world. 

The principal passages of the submission of Moham- 
med All are drawn up with all the art which acknow- 
ledges supremacy to obtain its end ; but which, far from 
betraying contrition, colours even an act of humiliation 
with the language of self-respect. 

" Commodore Napier, of the British fleet, informed 
me by a dispatch dated from before Alexandria, 22nd 
November, N.S., that the great Allied Powers have re- 
quested the Sublime Porte to grant me the hereditary 
government of Egypt on the conditions laid down by 
them ; that is, that I shall give up the imperial fleet 
which is in the port of Alexandria, and that the Egyp- 
tian troops shall retire from Syria and re-enter Egypt. 

"The Commodore required that diligence should be 
used in preparing the fleet, in order to its being delivered 
up, and in withdrawing the troops from Syria. 

" After some correspondence, and some discussions 
with the Commodore on this matter, these conditions 
were accepted, and an authentic Act, manifesting that it 
is expected that the favour of him who is the shadow of 
God should be granted, and serving also as a document 
to both parties, was concluded and signed. 

" Thus, then, when your Excellency shall, if it please 
God, have taken cognizance of my prompt submission, 
carried into effect as above, you will be pleased to lay it 
at the feet of the clemency of my most august and most 
powerful Sovereign and Master, of whom I am so proud 
to be the faithful and submissive servant, and to employ 
your good offices, in order to cause a man advanced in 


age, and faithful, who has grown old in his service, to 
experience, without ceasing, the effects of his Sovereign's 

" ' He who can ordain will ordain.' " 

Mohammed AH, in consequence of his submission, 
coupled with the surrender of the fleet and the evacua- 
tion of Syria, Arabia, and Candia, was, on the 4th of 
February, 1841, gazetted to the hereditary government 
of Egypt, in the following terms : 

" Moved by that goodness and that paternal solicitude 
by which he is distinguished, the Sultan, who has always 
loaded with favours the servants of the Sublime Porte, is 
pleased to consider the recent events as having never 
taken place, and has not only consented to pardon Mo- 
hammed Ali, his children, relatives, and all his servants ; 
but being desirous also of manifesting his clemency to- 
wards Mohammed Ali and towards his children, he has 
granted to His Highness the government of Egypt 

" In consequence, the Sublime Porte has decided upon 
fixing the conditions necessary for the hereditary suc- 
cession, and to make certain arrangements, which are the 
consequence and explanation thereof. 

"The Egyptian question, is then, God be praised! 
ended in the manner which has been seen. 

" This matter had caused some uneasiness in the minds 
of men ; but at length it is happily brought to a conclu- 
sion, and that is what is communicated to the public." 

While the breach was thus closed between the Sultan 
and his vassal, the termination of the Eastern question 
created an unseemly difference between Prance and the 
other Powers, particularly Great Britain. Exasperation 
rose so high as almost to lead to war, which, however, 
was averted by the statesmanlike qualities of Guizot, the 

M. GUIZOT. 219 

largest political figure in France since the first empire 
equally eminent as a man of letters, an orator, and a 
practical statesman. 

The works of Guizot betray vast erudition, and the 
phenomena of history are presented with a masterly 
scientific classification. The laws of Europe, from the 
decline of the Roman empire to the full revival of 
civilization, have been unrolled to explain them. But 
the various latent forces of nationality, compressed in 
the iron bonds of a stringent and uniform feudalism, 
and containing the whole enigma of present and future 
humanity, have in a great measure escaped this remark- 
able historian, who is moreover deficient in the colouring 
of a bright imagination and in those great thoughts, 
" that," as Pascal says, " come solely from the heart." 
In oratory, too, he has none of that southerly glow with 
which a Mirabeau, a Yergniaud, a Toy, and a Lamartine 
have kindled to enthusiasm the representative assemblies 
of France. Addressing himself to the business in hand, 
he is what the English style admiringly a " practical," 
and the French depreciatingly, " a technical orator." 

But great moral dignity cannot be denied to this icy, 
academic, and somewhat dogmatic nature ; the whole of 
his career having shewn that he was neither to be cajoled 
nor intimidated by the powerful. In philosophy he is a 
partisan of those principles of "duty" which a Cousin 
has so ably contrasted with the "utility" of a Helvetius, 
a St. Lambert, and a Yolney ; and in politics, belonging 
to the British school, he has been as a statesman free 
from the passion of equality, and the despotism of the 
majority propounded by a Eousseau and a Louis Blanc, 
theories which are utterly incompatible with that con- 
stitutional liberty which Guizot has spent his life in the 
vain and tantalizing effort to acclimate on the uncongenial 
soil of modern Gaul. 


The first care of M. Guizot was to effect the re-entrance 
of France to the European concert, which he accomplished 
with leisurely deliberation and dignity, so as to obtain 
the respect of the other Powers. The immediate fruit 
of this was the treaty of the ]3th July, 1841, concluded 
in London, by which the Sultan declared himself firmly 
resolved to maintain the principle invariably established 
as the ancient rule of his empire that no foreign ship 
of war was to be admitted into the Dardanelles and the 
Bosphorus, with the exception of light vessels for which 
a firman was to be granted. 





LET us now proceed with the narrative of events in 
Egypt during the last years of the rule of Mohammed 
Ali, when his ambitious schemes against the Ottoman 
empire had broken down, and when Syria, Arabia, and 
Candia had been restored to the direct rule of the 
Sultan, though the best of all remained to him Egypt, 
with its inexhaustible productive powers and large pecu- 
niary revenue. If the possession of a surplus, after pro- 
viding for all the civil and military wants of a State, be 
taken as the test of the value of lands to be governed, 
Mohammed Ali was in reality better off after 1841 than 
before, though possessing a smaller extent of territory. 
His position was no longer precarious. He was not an 
obstreperous tenant-at-will, but had a diploma securing 
the richest part of the Ottoman empire to his family. 
The surplus of the Egyptian revenue was no longer en- 
gulphed in the military expenditure of Syria and Arabia, 
and could be applied to those public works in Egypt 
which occupied the intelligence and activity of Moham- 
med Ali, and also excited his imagination and tickled 
his vanity by the prospect of celebrity which their exe- 
cution afforded to himself or his successors. 


And yet suspicions of treachery haunted Mohammed 
Ali day and night. He supposed that the Porte would 
recommence the ancient policy of seeking to upset the 
refractory ruler of Egypt, by an arrangement with some 
resolute officer of high rank who could carry out a plot 
with secrecy and decision. Sending his son, Said Pasha, 
with rich presents to Constantinople, he endeavoured to 
regain his former influence, and to free himself from the 
more inconvenient of the stipulations affecting his new 
position. The presents had been accepted, but nothing 
tangible had been obtained ; and he therefore philosophi- 
cally resigned himself to making the best possible use 
of the sphere that remained to him. Unwilling to dis- 
perse his now useless army, he turned their spears into 
ploughshares and pruning-hooks, and a multitude of 
civilians were dismissed from their offices in every part 
of Egypt, in order to make way for military men ; the 
higher officers being thrust into mudirships, and the sub- 
ordinate ones into lower civil offices, the flower of the 
troops being kept in garrison at Cairo and Alexandria. 

The common soldiers of the army were not very well 
pleased with this new condition of soldier-labourer; for 
the labour deprived them of the leisure they prized as 
a compensation for the restraint of military discipline, 
and the discipline appeared an irksome addition to the 
labour of an ordinary fellah. In the course of time this 
system was not found to work very well, for the Pasha 
found out that he had neither a good soldier nor a good 
labourer, and the army was gradually reduced, and the 
purely labouring population reinforced. 

Having a surplus revenue, and no offensive military 
projects in view, he turned to defensive schemes. During 
the war, Colonel Gallice, of the French engineer service, 
whom he had elevated to the rank of Bey, had raised 
temporary fortifications to protect Alexandria against a 


coup de main ; but a more comprehensive scheme was 
now adopted, so as to embrace both harbour and arsenal, 
and to inclose the whole of the enceinte of the town, sup- 
ported by detached forts to the westward of the town, 
commanding the isthmus by which Bonaparte had first 
approached Alexandria. But there was a certain diffi- 
culty in the application of the European science of fortifi- 
cation to the soil of Egypt. One of the usual processes 
is to "gazon,'' or turf over the earthworks, so as to 
retain them by a vegetable envelope from being blown 
away as dust. But in Egypt turf does not form easily ; 
and, moreover, the eyes of the artillerymen are un- 
pleasantly affected by the excessive glare of stone and 
lime, to say nothing of the heat which they evolve. 
But these were minor obstacles. By dint of the large 
surplus revenue, and the skill of the French engineers, 
the fortifications were accomplished in the course of re- 
volving years ; but, as they have not yet been put to the 
test, it would be presumptuous in a civilian to offer an 
opinion on their efficiency. 

Meanwhile, Turkey was far from appearing to con- 
solidate herself, notwithstanding the apparently fair start 
which she had in 1841. It is true that she got quit 
of the incubus of a threatened invasion of the heart of 
the Empire from the slopes of the Taurus. But on the 
other hand, she got back Syria and its unruly popula- 
tion without getting back Egypt, the large revenue of 
which would have covered any deficit in Syria. A 
small number of patriotic men were anxious to consoli- 
date the rule of the Sultan by fair government ; but the 
great majority of the old Pashas desired to maintain the 
time-honoured system of peculation and plunder, and 
the various nations of Turkey were violently agitated 
by their passions, prejudices, or supposed rights. In 
consequence of the weakness of the government, civil 


war had broken out between Druses and Maronites in 
October, 1841 ; and in the spring of the following year 
Mohammed Ali sounded the Porte as to whether it would 
be disposed to accept his assistance. The Pasha even 
dreamed of having his son, Said Pasha, made governor of 
the Pashalic of Sidon, which includes a considerable part 
of Mount Lebanon. But all hints of this description 
were coldly received at Constantinople. 

The liberal gifts of the Pasha were, however, always 
welcome at a corrupt court; and any distinction that 
might gratify his vanity, without infringing on the poli- 
tical sphere of the divan, was not to be refused. Conse- 
quently, in September, 1842, we find the dignity of 
Grand Yizier conferred upon him, with a flattering article 
in the official Ottoman paper, stating " that Mohammed 
Ali, Waly of Egypt, one of the oldest Viziers of the 
High Porte, out of gratitude for the numerous marks of 
favour with which he had been overwhelmed by his 
sovereign, was devoting all his energy and zeal to the 
service of the Sultan, who, in recognition of his fidelity 
to the imperial throne, had conferred upon him a proof 
of his high satisfaction in the form of a Hattishereef 
which elevated this Pasha to the rank of Grand Yizier. 
This favour was solely personal to Mohammed Ali, and 
the insignia of the honour, as well as a copy of the 
Hattishereef, were handed over to Sami Pasha as a proof 
of the confidence of the Sultan." 

Such was the language of official courtesy to the rebel 
of yesterday. Accordingly Sami Pasha proceeded to 
Alexandria, and the delivery of the rescript and 
decoration took place with all the pomp appropriate to 
the occasion, and in the presence of Ibrahim Pasha. 

In the summer and autumn of 1842, Egypt was visited 
with a murrain among the cattle, of extraordinary vio- 
lence and severity, and which threatened to have the 


most disastrous effects ; for the income of Egypt being 
chiefly derived from agriculture, and agricultural labour 
being chiefly performed by oxen, the loss was so enormous 
that it was necessary to press the horses of the artillery 
and cavalry into service for the cultivation of the land. 
I myself saw, sometime afterwards, the tall camel and the 
diminutive ass yoked together in the primitive Egyptian 
plough a spectacle which might have produced hilarity, 
if it had not been checked by the reflection that the 
cause of this incongruity was the terrible scourge which 
Holy Writ informed us was from time immemorial one 
of the periodical plagues of Egypt. In this crisis Mo- 
hammed Ali displayed all his energy, feeling that destiny 
had laid the axe to the very root of his revenues. Money, 
ships, and intelligent officers were immediately despatched 
to Turkey proper, and other countries, in order to supply 
the deficit. But the animals did not come soon enough 
and fast enough; and bands of villagers yoked them- 
selves to the plough, with the palm-fibre ropes strapped 
round their shoulders, in order to get through the in- 
dispensable operation of preparing the ground for seed. 
What increased the evil was, that there was in this year 
an extraordinary flood of the Kile; and, as the waters 
receded at a later period than usual, there was the less 
time to prepare the dried land for the expected crop. 
At length, in November, the murrain obviously dimin- 
ished, and the Nile began to fall, after causing unusual 
damage, much accumulated produce being swept away. 

The apprehension of the application of the treaty be- 
tween Great Britain and Turkey, abolishing monopolies, 
had for sometime alarmed Mohammed Ali ; and he there- 
fore adopted the simple plan of making large grants of 
land to the members of his family and his favourites, 
The whole produce of Egypt could thus be controlled to 
suit his convenience. It sometimes happened that ships 

VOL. II. 15 


from England and other European ports remained for 
weeks in Alexandria, from inability to obtain produce, 
although the magazines were full. Mohammed Ali, with 
all his intelligence in political and military matters, had 
not an idea of the A. B. C. of political economy ; but it 
is only justice to his successors, to say that they have 
arranged matters much better, and that European mer- 
chants having large capital at stake, and carrying on 
trade in accordance with the liberal provisions of the 
capitulations, are no longer subject to the capricious 
fancies of a single colossal salesman. In other respects, 
this year was signalized by two measures favourable to 
European and particularly to British interests. A 
company was formed under the auspices of Mr. Thurburn, 
of which the Pasha was a large shareholder, for the 
better management of the transit comprising the steam 
navigation on the Nile and the car traffic across the 
desert, which was studded with stations. There was as 
yet no immediate prospect of the railway being carried 
out to Suez ; but the electric telegraph to this town was 
in this year resolved on and begun : so that we must do 
Mohammed Ali the justice to say that in everything 
relating to the transit he was generally ready to accom- 
modate, and sometimes even to anticipate. 

In 1843 the plagues of Egypt showed themselves 
again. The cattle murrain of the previous year had 
carried off 200,000 oxen, so that the fine cavalry horses 
that were put to field labour were in a few months 
scarcely recognizable, from leanness, rope wounds and 
grazes. In 1843 the plague was that of locusts which 
covered the whole land from the cataracts to the sea- 
board; so that the government, to encourage their 
destruction, gave the peasantry so much per oke for 
the dead insects, and men women and children resorted 
to the usual absurd incantations, and the astrologers 


and magicians had unusually large gains. Mohammed 
All sent Abbas Pasha to enquire into this fresh source 
of loss and suffering, but nothing could effectually stop 
it, and in many spots every ear of corn was soon eaten 
up. The plague proper, which had begun in that portion 
of the army employed in field labour, also raged during 
winter and spring, so that natural accidents of a serious 
description kept the government and the mercantile 
houses at Alexandria in much inconvenience. 

The position of Ahmed Pasha of Soudan, Mohammed 
Ali's lieutenant in the countries of the Upper Nile, 
occasioned him great uneasiness this year. Two of the 
Pasha of Egypt's most faithful military men died 
suddenly, and suspicions were entertained that Ahmed 
Pasha, relying on his distance from Cairo, wished to 
play Mohammed Ali's former game upon a smaller scale, 
it is true. Ahmed Pasha continued to send respectful 
letters, and presents of ivory, and female slaves for the 
Pasha's harem ; but on various pretexts he refused 
to come to Cairo. The climate is, however, in itself a 
rapid consumer of the life of Europeans, and Ahmed 
Pasha died, conveniently for Mohammed Ali, of the 
autumnal fever. 

Ahmed Pasha, in order to conceal his doings, opened 
all letters of Europeans, whether going to or coming 
from Egypt, in the last months of his rule, got them 
translated and then burnt them ; so that some Europeans 
were half desperate from having no answers to their 
communications. This Pasha's name was also notoriously 
associated with those slave hunts in the countries beyond 
Nubia which at this period excited the attention and the 
indignation of the philanthropists of Europe. The terri- 
tory between the White and Blue Nile was the locality 
of these human battues. According to an active and 
intelligent traveller, who made himself acquainted with 


all the details of one of these expeditions, Ahmed Pasha 
started with nearly 3000 infantry, officered by Turks 
and Egyptians, 1000 irregular Arab cavalry, four guns 
and 6000 camels, swelled up by accessions that brought 
the whole force to 5000 men. When they arrived at 
Khor-el-Sidr, the cavalry was sent on against the Dinkas 
Nomade negroes, on the White Nile, while the main 
corps marched south to Ule, in the Borun country. In 
five days the cavalry came back with 623 slaves, 1500 
oxen, and a few sheep. Next day the booty was divided, 
one half being apportioned to the government, and the 
other half to the captors. 

The army now went further into the land of Borun, 
and came in sight of the village at Mount Tombak. The 
inhabitants, who had taken flight, occupied the tops of 
the isolated hills, which were surrounded by the cavalry 
and stormed by the infantry. Here the negroes defended 
themselves with the courage of despair, but most of the 
men capable of bearing arms were killed or wounded. 
Their arms consisted, not of muskets, but of bows and 
arrows with fine ivory points, so that not a single 
Egyptian was killed, although many were wounded. At 
about mid-day the soldiers came back with their human 
booty. They took from the town all the corn that the 
troops were still in need of, and the remainder, with the 
village itself, was burnt down. 

On the following day, the slaves, 526 in number, 
including men, women, and sucking children, were 
examined by the physicians in order to see how many 
of the men were fit for military service. The males wore 
a sheep skin round the shoulder, and the women a frock 
or shirt. Only seventy-five were found to be fit for 
arms, most of the prisoners having received gunshot 
wounds while defending themselves. The Pasha took 
the unwounded, as well as the handsomest women and 


boys, as the half belonging to the government, and left the 
rest to be divided amongst the army. When the families 
were separated, and men, women, and children were torn 
asunder, there arose the most melancholy and passionate 
wails, The soldiers made sure of their slaves in the 
following way : they stuck the neck of each into the 
fork of a split pole an arm thick, and bound the two 
ends behind the head, and the other end of the pole 
to the saddle, so that they could take them along with 
them, without giving themselves much trouble. The 
march lasted usually from six to eight hours, and as the 
soldiers scarcely took water enough for themselves, 
the slaves suffered frightfully 'from thirst, and they 
received no other nourishment but Indian corn softened 
with water. Those whose wounds hindered them from 
marching were shot at once, so that of the whole number 
captured not the half arrived at Khartoum. 

The army now marched to Kerr, a district with ten 
or fifteen little villages, the inhabitants of which had 
sought an asylum in two palisaded enclosures. An 
attempt was made by the Egyptians to bring down this 
palisade with cannon-balls, but without success. The 
infantry therefore stormed the palisades, and tried to 
pull them down with their hands, but were three times 
beaten back. At length the fire-arms gave the Egyptians 
the superiority, and the place was taken. Exasperated 
by the resistance, the soldiers slew all the blacks who, 
being wounded, could not serve as slaves. Ahmed 
Pasha saw that in this way he would lose the best 
slaves, so he sent one of his prisoners into the second 
palisade, recommending them to surrender immediately. 
The man went unwillingly, as he said he should not be 
able to persuade his fellow villagers ; and the second 
palisade was taken in the same manner as the first. The 
Egyptian loss on this occasion was considerable, several 


hundred being wounded by the ivory pointed arrows, 
and several killed by the unskilful use of their own fire- 
arms. The negroes and cattle were divided in a similar 
manner. The best slaves were sent under Bedouin escort 
for the use of the government, and those whom the 
troops did not choose to take with them were sold at 
wretchedly low prices to Arab slave dealers. The army 
then marched to Kormouk, inhabited by brave negroes 
armed with lances, the chief village being a town con- 
taining 1600 huts. The inhabitants having fled to the 
mountain, the Pasha first burnt the village, and, after 
waiting for two days, four battalions stormed the moun- 
tain, the fifth battalion remaining as a reserve, while the 
cavalry swept round the foot of the mountain to cut off 
the retreat of the fugitives. The first battalion attacked 
a palisade containing 1200 women and children; but 
the negroes coming down with force from the hill, the 
Egyptian troops were panic stricken, and, throwing down 
their loaded muskets, fled. This had an epidemic effect 
upon the other battalions, which also fled. Six officers 
and one hundred and eight soldiers fell in this attack. 
The Pasha took three days to reorganise his troops, at 
the end of which time a messenger came from the negroes, 
who appeared to be without water, for the Pasha had en- 
camped at the fountain. The Pasha promised to with- 
draw on condition that the negroes paid him fifteen 
ounces of gold. This sum was never paid, and Ahmed 
Pasha on this occasion had to withdraw, much displeased 
with the results of the expedition; for he had only 
made 1875 prisoners, while another Egyptian general at 
a similar negro hunt, had brought in 5,000 slaves. 

The best of these male slaves were enrolled in the 
ranks of the army, as Mohammed Ali found it cheaper 
and more convenient to use negroes than Egyptian fel- 
lahs, who were withdrawn from the culture of the soil of 


Egypt. On their arrival at Khartoum the men were 
placed in the regiments, and the women and the children 
divided among the officers. The division took place be- 
fore the slaves joined the army ; and in this expedition, 
of forty-two that were entrusted to Bedouins, the half 
died on the road and the Bedouins brought their ears to 
Khartoum, no doubt to show that they had not sold them 
for individual profit. 

In January, 1844, Boghos Bey died, aged seventy-six 
years, after a three days' serious illness. All the consuls 
and leading merchants of every nation attended the 
funeral of the oldest and most faithful of the servants of 
Mohammed Ali. The funeral was conducted with pomp, 
but, from hauteur or fanaticism, none of the superior 
Moslems showed any sort of respect to the memory of 
this intelligent and amiable man, who died poor and incor- 
ruptible, notwithstanding the rare opportunities he had of 
gaining large sums by the peculation and bribery so con- 
stantly practised in Levantine communities. At the time 
that I knew him he was distinguished by the neatness and 
cleanliness of his person and costume, the extreme polite- 
ness of his manners, his sagacity in judging of human 
character, and by the large amount of political information 
on the European States which he had gradually acquired 
during the prolonged discussion of many critical ques- 
tions relating to Egypt that had given occupation to 
the diplomacy of Europe, as well as by contact with many 
intelligent travellers of all nations. But although an 
excellent instrument of Mohammed Ali, he was deficient 
in moral and physical courage. He would have made a 
polished courtier and skilful administrator in an absolute 
monarchy ; but he had not the energy and independence 
requisite for a responsible leadership in a free State, 
where people will not give confidence to a man who has 
not unbounded confidence in himself. 


Boghos Bey was succeeded by Artim Bey, who had 
been first interpreter, a complete sycophant of the Pasha, 
vindictive towards those who thwarted or exposed his 
schemes, and a complete contrast to his brother Khosreff 
Bey, who succeeded him as first interpreter, and was a 
man of conciliatory temper. Boghos Bey, having com- 
menced his career in the British consulate of Smyrna, 
preserved certain relations of courtesy towards the Eng- 
lish, even when his master was on bad terms with the 
British Government. Artim Bey hated the English, 
doubtless from an instinctive perception of their unpliant 
and intractable character in cases of gross corruption ; 
but he was too prudent not to preserve an external show 
of courtesy towards a nation which he detested. His 
intelligence was indisputable. 

There was considerable distress in the villages this 
year, as * result of the cattle murrain and of the taxes 
being exacted in some districts with too little consider- 
ation for what had occurred. Some peasants, to escape 
payment of arrears, fled into the towns ; and Mohammed 
Ali found it expedient to punish with death any towns- 
people who harboured fugitive peasants. Several execu- 
tions took place on this ground. Thus Egypt became 
practically a slave State, so far as the agricultural popu- 
lation was concerned, under the rule of Mohammed Ali. 
Eevolting acts of barbarity were committed under the 
Mamelukes, but there was not a systematic suppression 
of personal liberty. The rural state of Egypt this year 
presents in other respects little to comment upon. The 
wild boars that had formerly been imported from Cyprus, 
in order to afford sport to the Mamelukes, were found to 
do so much damage in the Delta that measures were 
taken to extirpate them. 

I have already pointed out the deplorable condition of 
the agricultural districts of Egypt. While elegant streets 


on the European model were rising on the ruins of 
ancient Alexandria while a line of telegraph was laid 
down to Suez, the overland transit improved, and Euro- 
pean luxury introduced into the palaces of Cairo the 
political and financial affairs of Egypt were in a state of 
cancer. The great mass of the people were poorer and 
worse off than they had been at any period of the history 
previously recorded, certainly worse than they had been 
under the Mameluke Sultans ; for the precepts of Islam- 
ism had still a hold of a large part of the community, 
and if there were frequently irregular exactions from 
the wealthy in the towns, the exactions in the country 
were less systematic. Under the primitive Moslems and 
the Caliphs, there was a still stronger feeling of religion, 
and the rulers took a pride in punishing the oppressors 
of the poor. Under the Greeks and Eomans there was a 
regular system of law. Under the ancient Egyptians 
there appears to have been involuntary servitude and an 
abased agricultural population; but they seem to have 
lived in plenty, except when the ill -famed plagues of 
Egypt visited the land. 

In this year, 1844, partly in consequence of the pre- 
vious murrain in the cattle, partly from increasing de- 
population and flight of the peasantry in the face of 
even the punishment of death, a panic seems to have 
seized the sheikhs in the little towns and villages in all 
Upper Egypt, on finding that the machine of government 
would not work. The consequence was, that the council 
of Cairo made a report, laying bare the real state of 
affairs. The report showed that when one village had 
become depopulated, and could not pay its taxes, the 
burthen was thrown on the neighbouring villages ; and 
the fisc was inexorable in insisting on the maximum. 
Where there had been formerly a hundred looms, and 
hand- weaving had fallen off, so that only a third of the 


looms remained, this remainder had still to pay for the 
full complement. The report went into minute details 
proving that the magnificent public works carried on by 
labour unpaid for by the government was the chief cause 
of the depopulation ; and there can be no doubt that this 
was one of the principal causes both of the misery and 
exasperation of the people. All the magnificent works 
erected by Saladin, Kalaon, Mohammed- el -Nasr, and 
Sultan Hassan, were magnificently paid for from the 
treasures of these monarchs : in fact Sultan Hassan 
beggared himself to carry on the works of the splendid 
temple that bears his name. But Mohammed AH, after 
having ceased to recognise any landed property in Egypt 
that was not his own, would not even admit that the 
peasantry had a right to their own labour. "Slaves, 
instead of freeholders," was in fact the motto of the civil 
and financial administration of Mohammed Ali, poorly 
compensated by some showy public works on the models 
of Europe. 

Ibrahim Pasha, who was a shrewd practical man, and 
had nothing of the theatrical pomposity and vanity of 
Mohammed Ali, resolved that the truth should be made 
known to the Pasha, who was in fact in a great measure 
ignorant of the ruinous state of Egypt, in consequence of 
the system of oriental favoritism, in which the rule 
holds good that no communication ought to be made to 
a superior which is not agreeable. Lest the shock should 
be too severe for Mohammed Ali's self-esteem, his daugh- 
ter was commissioned to break the matter cautiously to 
him ; and more than the truth flashed upon the Pasha 
at this unofficial communication. He suspected that he 
had been purposely deceived, that it was a pretext to get 
quit of him, and that Ibrahim Pasha wished to step into 
his shoes at once. This communication being coincident 
with a reaction in his nervous system after some harem 


excesses, lie at once imagined that there was a plot on 
foot, and suddenly proceeded from his palace, on the 
promontory of Alexandria, to the villa of his brother-in- 
law, Moharram Bey, situated on the canal. He ex- 
claimed loudly to his immediate attendants, and the 
household of Moharram Bey, that he was surrounded by 
traitors, and that he would give up the government and 
go to Mecca to spend his last days. 

Ibrahim Pasha, Said Pasha, and his most intimate 
friends were refused access to him. Even Sami Pasha, 
his intimate confidant, was expelled from his room with 
reproaches, the Pasha maintaining with violence that the 
sheikhs of the towns and villages would not have made 
such a report unless they had received a hint to do so 
from some superior. All this occurred on the 25th and 
26th of July, after which Mohammed AH went to Cairo 
with a few subordinate officers and his physician. The 
consuls-general at Alexandria, hearing of these affairs, 
and of the state of the Pasha's mind, asked Artim Bey, 
the Minister of Commerce and Foreign Affairs, what the 
intentions of the Pasha were ; but he could give no in- 
formation. Ibrahim Pasha said distinctly, "that he 
would not accept the government as long as Mohammed 
AH lived." 

Mohammed AH, during the first half of August, went 
over all the reports, studying the question of the financial 
collapse which had moved the council to recommend him 
to remit the debts of villages amounting to nearly 
400,000 ; and, having reproached the council for not 
letting him know the truth, Ibrahim Pasha offered that 
the superior officers should mulct themselves, some in 
six months', others in four months' pay. Thus a recon- 
ciliation was brought about. The Pasha received all his 
officers, paid a visit to Ibrahim Pasha, dined with one of 
his daughters, and shortly afterwards returned to Alex- 


andria, his reputation somewhat damaged by freaks be- 
traying the passions and caducity of age, rather than the 
manly stoicism which is associated with true greatness. 

At the approach of autumn, and in the beginning 
of the year 1845, the cattle murrain partially re-appeared, 
but not with the former violence ; and the year 1845, 
partly in consequence of the financial reforms which had 
followed the explosion of August and September of the 
previous year, may be considered a period of revival and 
prosperity. But in April the Christian community was 
shocked by one of those outbursts of fanaticism, which 
had become, comparatively speaking, rare. At the end 
of March an event occurred at Damietta which attracted 
the attention of the Pasha. The fanatical population had 
observed with great dissatisfaction that Christian rayahs 
had become consular agents. Two Christians an 
Armenian and a Copt had become Moslems. The Copt 
made his profession of Islamism in the most public 
manner, and the Moslem mob paraded the whole day 
through the Christian quarter. On such days the 
Christians usually remained within doors, as they run 
the risk of being maltreated. At length, on the day 
of the festival of the birth of the prophet, a poor old 
Copt, with a white beard, who worked in a rice threshing- 
mill, fell into a dispute with a Moslem ass driver ; and, 
after exchanging words, the ass driver went to the 
governor and complained that the Copt had turned the 
prophet and his religion into ridicule. Ali Bey caused 
the man to be brought to the court of justice, and, on 
this worthless testimony, he was condemned to receive 
500 blows of the bastinado. After the man had received 
several hundred additional blows, a cross was tied on his 
back, and he was paraded on a buffalo through the town. 
The procession was then led through the Christian 
quarter. A shawl placed round the neck of the wretched 


man, and held on each side, hindered him from falling, 
for he was now more dead than alive ; and at one place 
near the shore, boiling pitch was thrown on him by a 
boat caulker, amid the applause of the mob. Mohammed 
Ali, on hearing of this event, sent to Damietta one of his 
chief officers, who condemned Ali Bey to five years' im- 
prisonment in the fortress of Aboukir, as well as to pay 
a heavy fine. The Pasha also pensioned the unhappy 
wretch who had been the object of this outrage. What- 
ever defects might exist in the agricultural administra- 
tion of Mohammed Ali, his punishment of fanatic violence 
was prompt and salutary. 




HAVING given the reader a sketch of Cairo and its 
inhabitants, under the Mamelukes, just previous to the 
French invasion, with which the great military, political, 
and social revolution of Egypt commenced, it seems not 
inappropriate that, before I record the closing scenes of 
Mohammed Ali's career, I should give some description 
of the metropolis at the end of the eventful half century 
which we have so minutely chronicled. Much of the 
ineffaceable character of a Moslem Arab capital remains, 
but there are also strong reflexes of the new phase of 
history evolved by the vigorous will of the individual, 
and the renewed importance to the commerce of the 
world which Egypt has assumed through a revolution 
of communications, independently of the will of any one 
individual however energetic. But first, I must beg the 
reader's permission to sketch the person and habits 
of Mohammed Ali, in his old age, from personal 

Mohammed Ali received visitors early in the morning, 
in a room hung with green Lyons damask, and look- 
ing out upon a terrace from which the whole landscape 
of the valley of the Nile up to the Pyramids was visible, 
an orangery in the open air forming a little table-laud 


in the lofty castle. In the midst of this room stood the 
Pasha in conversation with his physician. He saluted 
me cordially as I entered, and we proceeded to the 
window, where he sat down with his back to the garden. 
His complexion was excellent, the skin of his brow 
slightly sunburnt, but clear and healthy ; his eye still 
remarkable for lustre and intelligence, but the cheeks 
and mouth much wrinkled. Coffee was served, and the 
Pasha began to talk of his wants, which were comprised 
in "coal ! coal ! coal !" "That is the one thing needful 
for me," said the Pasha. He then called an attendant 
and told him to bring the specimens of this mineral 
found in the valley between Gheneh and Cosseir. 
Shortly afterwards the servant reappeared, bringing 
a little wicker basket with pieces of anthracite. The 
Pasha then declared his determination to carry out the 
railway between the two seas, if he should live long 
enough. Ibrahim Pasha was at that time absent on 
a visit to Europe, and had written home that the supe- 
riority of Frank civilisation was owing to the better 
condition of the humbler classes. Upon this Mohammed 
Ali said that he was determined to carry out the im- 
provement of the condition of the fellaheen, or peasantry 
of Egypt. He even caused a model village to be con- 
structed with improved dwellings ; but it is unnecessary 
to say, that all this was too completely in opposition to 
the acts, facts, and opinions of all his career in Egypt 
to make any impression upon me. I, however, never 
doubted that the railway would be carried out, either 
by himself or by his successors. 

Mohammed Ali usually passed the winter in Cairo, 
where sunshine rarely fails, and the summer in 
Alexandria, where his palace on the promontory of 
fig-trees, caught the cool north-western gale. He rose 
at the first peep of dawn, when his physician, Gaetano 


Bey, presented himself to enquire after his health. He 
then received his immediate officers and various European 
merchants, who were in his confidence, and who usually 
had the titles of consul, or consul-general of the 
secondary Powers. These favourites were chiefly Greeks, 
French, and English, rarely of other nations, although 
his physician was of Spanish extraction. His chief con- 
fidant among the Turks was Sami Pasha, a Moreote, 
already noticed. In taking his food, at this part of his 
old age, he attended with tolerable strictness to the pre- 
scriptions of his physician, but occasional harem excesses 
disordered his nervous system. In the afternoon, when 
in Cairo, he usually drove out in a carriage, to his orange 
paradise of Shoubrah, and smoked a pipe in his marble 
kiosk, where Europeans often met him. Notwithstanding 
the vast resources of Egypt, Mohammed Ali had rarely 
much superfluous cash. He had always expensive 
projects in hand, and the knowledge of his liberality 
drew projectors to his anti-chambers. The business that 
he had with the mercantile houses was of a peculiar 
description. They made advances to the verge of their 
capital, and they got produce in return, which was 
nominally sold to the highest bidder, but in reality 
distributed to the favoured houses ; not only previous 
advances, but the skill with which they paid their court 
to the Pasha entering into the transaction. Mohammed 
Ali had sagacity enough to distinguish between his 
friends and flatterers ; but he was so fond of eulogy, 
that those who went to Egypt determined to see every- 
thing in a rosy hue, rarely failed to forward their 
material interests. 

Ibrahim Pasha had a mind of a more practical cast 
in financial matters than Mohammed Ali, and was free 
from his step-father's eager desire to shine before 
Europeans ; but, greedy and morose, he never obtained 


popularity. Said Pasha, the younger son of Mohammed 
Ali, lived mostly at Alexandria, where he was brought 
up to the naval profession under the direction of in- 
telligent French officers. He spoke French fluently, 
and, having gone through a course of European reading, 
he certainly had more enlarged views than Abbas Pasha, 
his uncle. Abbas was destined one day to succeed Mo- 
hammed Ali, having been the son of Toussoun Pasha, 
Mohammed Ali's eldest son ; and it was the wish of the 
Pasha to bring him forward as much as possible, and 
initiate him in military and political affairs. Abbas had 
during the war been sent with a body of troops into 
Syria, where he stayed a very short time ; but he was 
fonder of field sports, birds, horses, and other animals, 
as well as of sensual pleasures, than of the details of 
political business. Consequently, although he was nomi- 
nal governor of Cairo, the business was transacted mostly 
by the deputy, Baki Bey, a brother of Sami Pasha. 
Abbas Pasha, although not much of a politician, was 
perfectly familiar with Cairo and its inhabitants, and 
resided not in the castle, but in the centre of the town, 
close to the great line of bazaars in a quarter called 
the Kroonfish, where I made his acquaintance, and found 
him to be perfectly good-natured and entirely free from 
any sort of ostentation. On higher subjects, his ignor- 
ance of science and literature was remarkable, consider- 
ing the training he had had ; but he was by no means 
deficient in common sense, and knew how to distinguish 
between such projects as were really beneficial to Egypt, 
as railways, and those that were of doubtful utility. In 
person, he was rather inclined to be stout, but not corpu- 
lent. He somewhat neglected his dress and personal 
appearance, allowing days to elapse without being 
shaved. His great delight was in horses, of which he 
had a very fine stud, and his challenge to the jockey 

VOL. II. 16 


clubs of Paris and London, in order to test the merits of 
the old Arab as compared with the British blood horse 
which is in reality in great part of Arab origin was the 
topic of discussion in sporting circles for a considerable 

Shereef Pasha, a near relative and formerly intimate 
friend of Mohammed Ali, who had been governor- general 
of Syria, was the head of the divan of finances. He was 
very wealthy and lived in considerable splendour, although 
his salary had been reduced from 12,000 to 8,000 
per annum at the time of the retrenchments which the 
financial crisis had forced on Mohammed Ali. During 
the time of his government of Syria his total income 
with rations and allowances had been equivalent to 
14,000 a-year. Partly from family ties and partly 
from personal qualities he had up to the campaign of 
1840, possessed the entire confidence of the Egyptian 
government. He was a man of most winning and at- 
tractive manners and of rare and remarkable intelligence. 
Many traits are recorded of him which procured the 
respect and esteem of the European agents exercising 
consular functions in Syria. On the other hand (a con- 
tradiction often visible in semi-barbarous nations) he 
never recoiled from acts of cold-blooded cruelty in order 
to fill the treasure chest, or to strike terror into those 
ill-affected to the Egyptians, or to minister to the pre- 
judices of friends and adherents. Hence the odious mal- 
treatment of several members of the Jewish community 
supposed (without adequate legal ground) to have been 
concerned in the murder of a Latin priest named Father 
Tommaso, will always be a black stain on his memory, 
five or six of them having died under the lash for re- 
fusing to confess participation in a crime of which there 
was no tangible proof. But unscrupulous agent as he 
was of Mohammed Ali, he was ready when the last hour 


of the Egyptians had sounded, to worship the rising sun. 
Overtures had been made to him by the government of 
the Porte to remain in Damascus as Pasha, where his 
experience and the prestige of his personal authority 
would have proved valuable in the transition from Egyp- 
tian to Constantinopolitan rule, and there is every reason 
to believe that he had either positively or tacitly accepted 
these propositions. But Ibrahim Pasha, either suspecting 
this plan, or it having been betrayed to him by some one 
connected with Shereef Pasha, carried him off prisoner 
to Cairo ; and, it is supposed, would have taken his life, 
had it not been that Mohammed Ali mastering his 
dissatisfaction, and anxious both to preserve so able an 
administrator and to renew social relations with an old 
friend to whom he had, during many years, borne a great 
attachment, and at the same time wishing to preserve a 
trump card from falling into the hands of the Sultan's 
government in Syria patched up a reconciliation between 
his stepson and quondam friend. 

Shereef Pasha understood financial affairs very well ; 
but partly from indolence, and partly to avoid having 
any disagreeable discussions with his chief, he was de- 
ficient in candour relative to his own department, and he 
could not shake off the oriental indisposition to make 
communications to a superior that were not agreeable. 
The great lever of the revenue of the state was of course 
the land monopoly ; but a large contribution was received 
from the ferdeh. This was the poll-tax which Mohammed 
Ali screwed out of every Egyptian and Syrian, that he 
could lay his hands on, and was one of the chief fiscal 
levers, during the period of his contest with the Sultan, 
and the complete payment of it was exacted according 
to a classification. Woe to the peasant or townsman 
who could not pay his poll-tax, for he was bastinadoed 
until it was all acquitted. The Divan-el-ferdeh, or the 


office of the individual-tax, was in the Sikket-el-Leboudieh. 
Passing there I asked my sheikh Ahmed-el-Kotoby what 
anecdote of a salient description he could give me for 
my budget suggested by the locality; but he stopped 
short, and shaking his head and his robe, said, "It is 
of no use, for you would plunge me into an ocean of 

Passing sentries, I found myself in a large hall, along 
the walls of which were high desks, on which were the 
books of the ferdeh in ponderous folio, and behind them 
the Coptic clerks making entries and references. At the 
extreme right was the clink of gold, and here were the 
sarafs of the government receiving the gold pieces, 
weighing and scrutinizing the little gold dollars to see 
that the obliquely indented rim was unfiled and un- 
clipped, and opposite was the fellah of the environs with 
his coarse hair cloak or the townsmen in woollen and 
silk. A curtain veiled from the public the dread 
sanctuary of the nazir, who seemed to be a Circassian 
of exceedingly fair complexion. He was surrounded by 
Coptic clerks, with books in their hands investigating 
the claims on defaulters. The nazir, or inspector of this 
department, was like the grand inquisitor of the palmy 
days of Jesuitism. He was the terror of the rich, who 
feared lest his wealthometer should reach to those por- 
tions of their capital which were concealed from view, 
and the terror of the poor on account of the bastinado 
which was applied at his discretion. When a creditor 
was importunate in dunning, his usual pretext was the 
inexorable demands of the nazir of the ferdeh; or if the 
debtor sought an excuse, he alleged the necessity of the 
discharge of the preferable claim of the government. 
The address with which the government penetrated to 
the knowledge of the private means of individuals was 
fairly matched by the popular ingenuity in evasion. 


Edhem Bey continued to be the head of the educa- 
tional institutions of the Pasha. He occupied, not very 
far from the Bridge of the Lion, the very locality which 
had been the Institute of Egypt at the time of the 
French expedition, and where Monge, Berthollet, Denon, 
and Cafarelli had discussed science and art with the hero 
of Embabeh. But the palace had been almost rebuilt. 
His department was in a satisfactory state, contrasting 
with the manufactures and some other new institutions 
of the Pasha, which had proved failures, politically and 
economically. The printing press of Boulak was in in- 
creasing activity, and many of the works translated, such 
as Montesquieu's " Grandeur et Decadence des Eomains," 
were intended to break down still further the prejudices 
of the Arabs, and to set them a-thinking. The printing 
of the Koran has always been resisted by the ulema as 
unlawful ; but, for the first time in the history of Islam- 
ism, an edition of the Koran was set up in type, and the 
Mufti of Cairo, Sheikh-el-Temimy, was asked to set his 
seal of permission upon it in order to ensure its sale. 
There was thus a perpetual conflict going on attack on 
the part of the free-thinking Turks, and ingenious evasive 
defence on the part of the ulema. 

Edhem Bey pointed out to me the various institutions 
in his department which might be interesting, one of 
which was the medical college and hospital of Kasr-el- 
Ainy, on the banks of the Nile above Cairo. The palace 
of Kasr-el-Ainy has the appearance of an immense bar- 
rack, and forms a quadrangle. Passing into the court- 
yard I found it planted with trees for the sake of greater 
coolness, and on ascending the steps entered the galleries 
of the military hospital. Here the cleanliness and the 
fresh currents of air denoted the introduction of European 
pathology, so opposite to the filthy negligence of the 
native Egyptian. Having looked through the wards, I was 


shown into a kiosk with divans that overlooked the Nile. 
This was the visiting room of the physicians after their 
inspection; and, glancing across the Nile, I saw the 
luxuriant groves of Eodah and the nilometer in the 
distance. The blighting desert winds and the heats of 
summer had not yet commenced, and the birds on the 
boughs sang in loud chorus, which reached across the 
waters. I recollected that on this very spot had been 
held the alarmed councils of the Mameluke Beys on 
intelligence of the landing of Bonaparte ; for the palace 
of Kasr-el-Ainy and its luxurious gardens had been a 
villa of Ibrahim Bey. 

I then descended to the ground floor, where experi- 
ments had been made by a Russian commission for test- 
ing the effects of heat on clothes of plague-struck persons; 
and the conclusion was come to, that with 60 of Beau- 
mer they cease to be pestiferous, the circumambient 
globules of infecting fluid being dried up. Besides 
being a hospital, Kasr-el-Ainy is also a medical school ; 
and passing over some mounds of earth, we found our- 
selves in the botanical garden where there was a pond 
for aquatic plants. There was also a cabinet of natural 
history in which I saw a stuffed calf with two heads. 
This reminded me of the child with two heads, which 
was born at Damietta in the year 377 A.H., one head being 
black and the other white, but both from the same neck, 
the rest of the body as usual. The infant was taken to 
Cairo, and shown to the Caliph Aziz Billah, who gave 
the mother a sum of money, but the infant did not 
survive beyond a few months. 

Unquestionably one of the least equivocal benefits 
which Mohammed Ali conferred on Egypt was the es- 
tablishment of a printing press on a large sca]e at 
Boulak, from which were sent forth those numerous 
works on modern science and literature, particularly 


medical works and history, which form an epoch in the 
history of Egypt. Not being intended as a mercantile 
speculation, but as a means of spreading a taste for 
reading among a people that for three centuries had 
ceased to be literary, the prices of the books were very 
low. The library for the sale of these books was a large 
edifice close to the Mehkemeh, with a gallery above all, 
looking quite new and European. I bought a Life of 
Napoleon, in closely printed quarto, for little more than 
three shillings. The Memoirs of the Empress Catherine, of 
the same size, in Turkish, cost two shillings and sixpence ; 
and the original price of the celebrated Egyptian edition 
of the Arabian Nights' Entertainments was ninety piastres 
or about eighteen shillings. During my visit to Cairo 
the price was much higher, all the copies having been 
bought up by the five booksellers of Cairo. The mosque 
libraries of Cairo are mere wrecks owing to the dis- 
honesty of the supervisors and sub-librarians (nazirs 
and moghairs, the latter expression meaning "changers," 
and being applied to the person who gives out and re- 
ceives back books). The library of the Azhar is large, 
comprising many thousand volumes, but the number I 
could not learn. The mosque of Mohammed Bey had 
eleven hundred volumes ; the mosque of Yezbek four 
hundred; and the mosque of Sheikhoun one thousand 
volumes. The largest library in Egypt was that of 
Ibrahim Pasha, which consisted of 8,000 volumes. The 
books of the mosque of the Morea and Greece, brought 
away by Ibrahim Pasha, and numbering 1,500 volumes, 
were deposited in the citadel. The largest library of 
a private individual was that of Habib Effendi, an 
intelligent Turk, who had been municipal governor of 
Cairo, and consisted of five thousand volumes. At 
the time of the flourishing period of Cairo literature, 
that is to say under the Mameluke Sultans, com- 


prising the period of Ebn Khalikan and Makrizi 
the libraries of the principal mosques were of vast 
extent, and the multitude of authors quoted in the 
colossal encyclopedia of biography by the former, show 
that the literary resources of Cairo at that time must 
have been extensive, far beyond what the present state 
of the libraries can give any conception of. Mohammed 
Ali was perfectly indifferent as to old Arabic literature. 
He wished to create a new epoch in Egypt, both as a 
soldier and revolutionist, and it was the modern science 
of Europe that was more likely to suit his purpose than 
any amount of the curious theology and literature of the 
earlier Arabic period. 

Constantly needing the services of Europeans, a part 
of Mohammed Ali's system was to enforce toleration of 
Franks, Frank science and Frank usages, on the un- 
willing and recalcitrant Moslems. There began to be 
greater facility in admission to the mosques, which was 
sometimes abused in an offensive manner. A broad- 
brimmed white hatted American was once seen forcing 
his way into the Azhar and ordering the interpreter to 
say, " that he believed that there was no God but God." 
" But you do not believe that Mohammed is the prophet 
of God," said the man at the gate. " That does not 
signify," was the rejoinder; "I have just had a tough 
argument with the Coptic patriarch, and now I wish to 
have a little discussion with your people." Notwith- 
standing this appeal, admission was refused. Mohammed 
Ali was indeed successful in his efforts to compel this 
greater tolerance. A Christian said to me with pleasant 
exaggeration, " I believe even if the Christians were to 
wear green turbans, the Moslems would say nothing ; 
but we do not wear green turbans, for as they are now 
so tolerant, it would be unfair to come into unnecessary 
collision with their prejudices." 


I sometimes found young Moslems so thoroughly de- 
nationalized and dereligionized as to have a jarring un- 
pleasant flippancy. Paris had not only spoiled them for 
Mecca, but had even rendered them indifferent to the 
beautiful monuments of the four epochs of Moslem archi- 
tecture in Cairo ; and I recollect one, who pointed to the 
fact of a certain amount of wine being annually imported 
at Yeddah and secretly sold as a proof that civilization 
was extending. But these were the rare exceptions ; 
and in general it was remarked that Moslems were more 
indisposed to Frank society after their return from a 
course of education in Europe than before. For this 
there were several reasons, one of which was, that they 
did not choose to appear before their fellow Moslems as 
having been denationalized. The novelty of Frank so- 
ciety had completely worn off during their sojourn in 
Europe; and at the same time their vanity was often 
wounded by the consciousness of the fundamental in- 
feriority of the civilization and of the military and politi- 
cal power of the eastern nations when contrasted with 
those of the west. 

The material improvement in the interior of Cairo was 
in many respects very considerable, and much was con- 
tributed to the comfort of the inhabitants. Travellers 
have justly complained of the filth of the oriental cities, 
where accumulations of all sorts of offal and rubbish took 
place with impunity ; but in Cairo a system was adopted 
of fining every person a dollar before whose house a 
dead dog or cat might be found. With a dishonest 
population it sometimes happened that people connected 
with the sheikh of the quarter, who collected the 
fines, would put a dead dog or cat at the door of a 
wealthy person for the purpose of extracting the dollar ; 
and this led to Mohammed Ali causing the, whole 
of the cleaning department to be managed by a 


public board called the Divan-el-cassara, or divan of 

No part of Cairo underwent a greater change than the 
Ezbekieh. At the time of the French invasion, the 
Ezbekieh was a large pond like the Birket-el-Fyl, during 
all the inundation, on which pleasure boats, with coloured 
lanterns, filled with persons who played upon the guitar, 
used to move about on certain festivals. Mohammed 
Ali, by filling it up in a great measure, and planting 
alleys of trees, has made it a sort of St. James' Park of 
Cairo. An examination of the architecture of the houses 
that border it, shew three distinct styles ; first, the old 
usual Arab; secondly, the Greco-Turkish, which was in 
vogue at the end of the last century and the beginning 
of this ; and thirdly, the pure European, with forms im- 
ported from Marseilles or Trieste. 

Boulak, the port of Cairo, was greatly improved in 
the time of Mohammed Ali. A substantial new stone 
quay was erected for the river-steamers, and as the 
period of his rule comprised that in which steam naviga- 
tion became general upon the great rivers of the civilized 
world, the Nile was not an exception, under a ruler 
who certainly did not lack intelligence. Here, too, was 
a villa and farm of Ibrahim Pasha, who was the first to 
raise water by steam-power for the irrigation of the 
land ; but the enormous expense of fuel, the coal being 
all from England, and the wood from Asia Minor, or the 
Black Sea, has prevented the extension of the application 
of steam to agricultural purposes. The activity wit- 
nessed at Boulak is a complete contrast to the scene 
that meets the eye in the sequestered and ruined quarters 
of Cairo, with their monuments of the departed grandeur 
of the Mameluke Sultans. Boulak is typical of the youth 
of Egypt, renewed by the overland passage and by Frank 
technical science. The substantial stone quay the sun 


on high shining on the broad river, with wooded Eodah 
in the distance, steamers in the foreground, and in the 
background, a crowd of boats with sails set moving up 
and down the river tall trees, tall masts, and minarets, 
all rising together ; and, oppposite, the verdant islands, 
beyond which the sharp lines of the pyramids stand 
boldly out on the horizon form together a landscape 
of a most characteristic nature, bringing into juxta-posi- 
tion most striking monuments of the old native, and the 
newly imported civilization of Egypt. 

Further down the Mle, one of the most pleasant crea- 
tions of Mohammed Ali in the neighbourhood of Cairo, 
is the orange and lemon-park of Shoubra. The stranger 
finds himself in a labyrinth of trim parterres and box- 
wood borders, in triangles, parallelograms, circles, and 
segments of circles ; while all around well-grown lemon 
and orange trees luxuriate in that texture of foliage 
which, to other vegetation, is like what satin and velvet 
are to ordinary stuffs, and the orange itself harmonizes 
beautifully with the tree from which it grows. There is 
an aviary, fountain, and kiosk of white marble. Shoubra 
is the converse of a Damascus house, where marble 
shines and the orange and lemon relieve; here the 
orange and lemon luxuriate, and the marble relieves 
their splendour. 

No traces of the magnificent architecture of the Arabs 
are to be found in the modern palace-building of Egypt. 
The houses of the wealthier classes which have been 
recently constructed are mostly in the Greco-Constanti- 
nopolitan style, with French furniture inside, Lyons 
damask hangings, and divans, Aubusson carpets, and 
pier glasses. But in the divan tissues, the Europeans 
cannot come up to the Aleppines, whose stuffs, with a 
mixture of gold thread, silk and wool, have a rich and 
magnificent effect. A palace of this description had been 


built for one of the family of Mohammed Ali, on the site 
of the town house of Elfy Bey, which became the head- 
quarters of Bonaparte, and subsequently, of Kleber, who 
was assassinated in the garden attached. One of the 
best localities for a palace would undoubtedly be the 
Island of Eodah, with its luxuriant park of tropical 
vegetation, and its position on the Nile ; but unluckily 
once in every twelve or fifteen years it is under water 
and the inundation is so high, that the gardeners have 
to fly for their lives, and the gardens are completely 

If the citadel does not possess the advantage of 
luxuriant vegetation, it has a healthy airy position. I 
minutely examined it in 3845-6, when a few columns 
of granite standing upright were the only remains of 
the Iwan-el-Kubeer, or great hall, in which had been 
the throne of Saladin. The ancient magnificence of the 
castle had disappeared, and I found no trace of the 
gorgeous gate of bronze, which was so highly orna- 
mented with arabesques ; or of the celebrated u Eefref," 
or corniced terrace of Mohammed-el-Nasr, which com- 
manded the view of the whole valley. ]S~or was I able 
to make out the locality of the celebrated drummery and 
musicians' barrack, and the large space of ground oppo- 
site it used for playing ball. What most strikes the 
attention is the new mosque of Mohammed Ali, from its 
size, its position, its rich material, and the abundance of 
alabaster columns. It is, however, entirely in the modern 
taste of Constantinople, and immeasurably inferior to the 
school of the period of the Mameluke Sultans, which 
united picturesque outline with the most luxuriant de- 
tail, presenting a striking contrast to the heavy Byzantine 
dome and bald minaret, of modern Turkish mosque 

Mohammed Ali did much to improve the water- works 


of Cairo. The want of water in the upper part of Cairo, 
behind the Azhar, was supplied by him by means of a 
water-wheel, at the "Khalidge" or "canal," and by 
means of machinery it is carried still higher. This was 
a great boon, for, previously, all the water used in this 
quarter, so dry and remote from the Nile, had to be 
purchased from those who made a trade of conveying 
it in skins on asses' backs. There is a great inequality 
in the supply of water, some quarters having it all the 
year, and others only during the inundation. At the 
Birgouan is a well which during the inundation is of a 
reddish colour, and hence the prevalence of the idea that 
there exists in this quarter a well of blood. 

Egypt depends for its wealth entirely on the proper 
irrigation of the land in the agricultural districts. Mo- 
hammed Ali well understood this ; and hence the canals 
of the Delta were well kept up, and several new ones 
added. In old times, besides the cutting of the Khalidge, 
denoting the rise of the waters to the proper height, there 
was also a great festivity at the opening of the canal of 
Abou Monagyeh which was drawn from the Nile in 
order to water the land to the east of the Delta. This 
rejoicing was as disorderly as a Venetian Carnival, and 
used to be celebrated with pomp and licence by all the 
people east of Delta. Makrizi speaks with horror of the 
orgies of the opening. Men and unveiled women mixed 
promiscuously in illuminated boats, moving up and 
down during the night, while the air resounded with 
guitars, lyres, and ' musical instruments. This Abou 
Monagyeh was a Jew, who enjoyed the stewardship of 
the province of Sharkieh; and in the year 506 of the 
Hegira dug the canal, on which he spent enormous 
sums. He was afterwards imprisoned for peculation, or 
on account of his enormous wealth; and despairing of 
release adopted a curious plan to procure his liberty. 


He copied a Koran and wrote on it " Copied by Abou 
Monagyeh, the Jew." The copy was publicly sold and 
caused much sensation in Cairo. On being asked "Why 
he copied a Koran ?" he answered, " In order to obtain 
death ;" upon which he was let out of prison. 




LET us now say something of public justice, and of 
crime, during the rule of Mohammed Ali. The old 
municipal police was abolished, and all united under 
the so-called "Zabit Bey," literally the "Fixing or 
Settling Bey," or in other words the keeper of peace. 
He had under his immediate orders each of the lieu- 
tenants of the eight quarters of Cairo, who again had 
under them the sheikhs of the Harats, or subdivisions 
of the large quarters. Formerly, the Daoudeey was the 
worst part of Cairo, and was originally so called from 
the name of Daoud, who was Mokaddem-esh-Shurta or 
head of the detective police, under the Fatimites. We 
have a curious specimen of this class of men more or 
less distinctly pourtrayed in the Arabian Nights' Enter- 
tainments, in the Ahmed-el-Denf who lived at Bagdad 
in the time of Haroun-er-Keshid, and who doubtless was 
not a fancy sketch, but a real character, and who trans- 
mitted his reputation for ingenuity in those processes 
for which the old Bow-street officers were so renowned. 

There is, upon the whole, much less domestic theft 
and larceny in the East than in Europe. No doubt one 
of the causes of this was the old Draconian code, so that 
for a petty theft an unprincipled man would not willingly 
risk his life, or at least, the loss of his hand, which 


branded him with infamy for life, and at the same time 
by crippling him hindered him from gaining a liveli- 
hood. It may be remarked that thefts of every descrip- 
tion are much more frequent in Cairo than in Damascus 
or Aleppo, on account of the size of the town. Hence 
the proverb : 

"Halebi chelebi, 
Shami shoumi, 
Misri harami;" 

which means, that the Aleppine is polite, the Da- 
mascene deceptively plausible, but the Egyptian a thief. 
In Egypt the agents of the detective police are called 
" Bassasseen," and they are generally old skilled robbers, 
who for the sake of a more secure existence have offered 
their services to the government. They can tell if a box 
has been broken open by a professional robber, or by 
one who is beginning the craft. By examining a broken 
window shutter, they will know how entrance has been 
effected into a house, and make the same distinction as 
to the professional or the unpractised robber ; and they 
know all the thieves in the town. The Daoudeey was 
also the principal quarter of female prostitution; but 
Mohammed Ali cleared out the quarter, and banished 
these women to Upper Egypt. 

At the commencement of Mohammed Ali's rule, his 
own Arnauts maintained a deplorable distinction, as 
foremost in crimes accompanied by violence ; and as it 
was through the instrumentality of this class of men 
that the Pasha rose to power, he felt bound, in deference 
to public opinion, to treat them with summary justice. 
Instances occurred of Arnaut soldiers getting richly 
dressed prostitutes, adorned with jewels, into their 
houses, murdering them for the sake of their ornaments, 
and then throwing their dead bodies into the Khalidge, 
during the inundation, or into some of the ponds 


created during this period by the extraordinary overflow 
of the Nile. A case of this occurred in the blind alley, 
called the Alifet Kizq. "When it was reported to Mo- 
hammed Ali, he ordered an immediate example to be 
made, and, on the same day, Arnauts in their petticoats 
were seen hanging at the most conspicuous places and 
frequented thoroughfares of the town. 

Crimes in harems are not infrequent, and sometimes 
escape detection. The reason of this is, that the harem is 
a domestic establishment, partaking of the character of the 
fortress and of the prison. The inmates are not to the 
same extent' under public control and under public pro- 
tection as those who live in European houses with 
windows opening on a street. An oriental house is a 
dead wall, with a wicket door and lantern sort of 
windows, which are never opened to the street ; and not 
only are the inmates more completely under the control 
of the master, but the access of the public is also 
controlled. In Europe if one knocks at the door, 
whether of a high or humble dwelling, it is opened 
immediately ; but in the East only with precaution, and 
after a time, during which the visitor has been under 
examination and probably the subject of discussion. In 
fact, the oriental house is perfectly suited to the despotic 
position of the head of the family. Revolts rarely occur, 
and the "Revolt of the Seraglio," a subject that has 
been treated by European dramatists, is certainly a rare 
exception. Such a revolt did, however, occur, in Cairo, 
during Mohammed Ali's rule, and created a great 

In the Derb-el-Habaleh, or " Kopemakers-road," may 
be seen a house which has a curious appearance ; for the 
architect, in order to procure for the master a view of 
the mosque of Sheikhoun, made the rooms of the first 
floor project in right angled triangles over the basement. 

VOL. ii. 17 


Here lived Ahmed Effendi Abou Shenab, one of those 
Turks who had been many years in France, but whom 
Europe had not civilised. He was a man of a cruel 
disposition, and on his horse once shying he applied his 
sabre to its buttock in a fit of passion, and this caused 
the death of the animal. He had ceased to be a Moslem, 
but had learned only the vices of Europe, and was called 
by the Arabs, "Formason," or Freemason, that is to say, 
a man who had no religion. He had eleven female 
slaves in his house, whom he treated in a tyrannical 
manner ; for, although intelligent, he was nightly intox- 
icated, There had long been murmurs in the harem 
against his tyranny, and an accident brought the dis- 
content to a head. Having thrown a glass of water 
which had been brought him back into the face of one 
of his slaves, they consulted together and, during his 
drunken sleep, cut the rope of the well, and, nine of 
them being present, he was strangled in the impotence 
of drunkenness. Two, who had taken no part in the 
murder, were let off, but the nine were all drowned 
in the Nile. 

The ingenious deceptions of the dangerous classes 
of Cairo are endless ; and one of the classes most addicted 
to crimes unaccompanied with violence are the gipsies. 
They are divided into several tribes, and the females sell 
rings and ornaments in harems, and mark with blue 
the hands and chins of women. They also circumcise 
girls. One hears them crying in the bazaars, " Ya binat 
ashash el areed, Ya binat ashash el rafeia," " Oh 
women ! I have broad and fine sashes to sell." The 
women of these gipsy tribes do not cover their faces ; 
they have their own laws and secret usages ; they all 
pretend to be Moslems, as in Syria and the other parts 
of the Ottoman Empire. A curious circumstance once 
happened, which may be mentioned here. An old woman 


and a young beauty passed in the street an old Fackih, 
or Koran-reader, who was known to be uxorious. The 
younger woman allowed her face to be seen, and, 
addressing him by name and appealing to his character, 
requested him to read a document for her. This was 
a bill of divorce by a husband, which was followed by 
ejaculations on the part of the beauty and her pretended 
relative, such as, " Cruel fate ! What shall I do ! Where 
shall I go !" In a country where marriages are easily 
dissolved, they are contracted with equal facility, and 
so the Fackih asked her if she was disposed again to 
enter into matrimony ? The beauty was not unwilling, 
so a marriage was prepared, the jewels of his female 
relations were put in requisition, and on the nuptial 
night the beauty was resplendent with the borrowed 
gems. When the guests were all gone, the bride 
thanking them for lending the jewels which she 
promised to restore on the following day pretended 
to her husband to go up stairs, but suddenly slipped out, 
carrying with her all the ornaments. Many asses had 
been in waiting in the neighbourhood for their mistresses, 
and the beauty having slipped on her veil, was enabled 
by the aid of her accomplices to get clear off. I regret 
that I did not hear whether the culprit had ever been 
discovered ; but it was supposed by the police that she 
was one of the female gipsies, who are not darker than 
the Egyptian women of the humbler classes. 

I have already stated that women of loose life 
were sometimes murdered by Arnauts for their jewels. 
Instances of a different kind occur from time to time, 
in which the males are victims of female deceit. A 
woman, handsomely dressed, presented herself in a 
house where Turkish officers used to live, and requested 
permission to take up her quarters with them, which 
they allowed. They were newly come from Constant!- 


nople and asked her her name, to which she answered 
"Khan Halily." When they used to go to the bath, 
she would say, " Go with little money, for the bath- 
keepers are robbers." So they used to deposit their 
money with her, and on returning found it safe. One 
day all four went to the bath together, and left their 
purses with her. On their return the purses were not 
to be found. They shouted, "Khan Halily, where are 
you ?" and then fired off a pistol, and again cried 
"Khan Halily, where are you?" They afterwards 
went out, and said to the grocer opposite, "Do you 
know where Khan Halily is?" "Further on," said he. 
They asked another, and received the same answer, and 
even maltreated a peasant who turned them into ridicule. 
When they found out at last, that the Khan Halily was 
a bazaar, and the woman was not to be found, their rage 
knew no bounds ; and long afterwards they were joked 
by other Turkish officers, and asked if they had not yet 
found the whereabouts of Khan Halily. 

As the shawl which is wrapped round the skull-cap 
is of considerable value, and as even persons in very 
moderate circumstances go to the expense of a Bussorah 
or Cashmere wrapper, turban snatching was a most usual 
form of depredation in dark nights in a large capital so 
badly lighted as Cairo, where there were no public 
lamps, and where the wayfarer carried his own lantern. 
Hence the obligation not to be abroad after an early 
hour of the evening, without a lantern. In the so called 
Harat Abdeen there used to be a man who pretended 
to be a saint, and who had a lantern hanging at one part 
of the street while he recited verses of the Koran and 
received contributions. In reality, however, he was an 
accomplice of the turban-snatching Arnauts, who lived 
in the quarter. As it was not worth the risk to snatch 
away any but the best turbans, he saw by the light of 


his lamp whether the turbans of the people were good 
or bad ; and when a fine turban passed, the signal he 
gave was by crying out, " Ya Eab !" (0 Lord !) Then, 
when the wearer had passed on to a dark part of the 
street, the turban was snatched. But this soon came to 
the ears of the head of the police, who passed himself 
one night with a fine Cashmere shawl around his tarboosh. 
"A prize," thought the pretended Wely to himself, as 
he cried out " Ya Eab ! " (0 Lord) ; and when the head 
of the police reached the darker part of the street, off 
went his turban, snatched by unseen hands. This 
officer, however, had a troop of men approaching from 
both directions ; and the Arnauts, seeing the first troop, 
took to flight in the opposite direction, but had not pro- 
ceeded many paces, when they found themselves in the 
midst of the troop approaching from the other direction. 
The Arnauts were captured and put to death, having 
first confessed confederacy with the pretended saint, 
who was beheaded on the spot, and his head put under 
the mustabah, or stone bench, where he used to sit in the 
Harat Abdeen, so that for several days all Cairo streamed 
to see it. 

A formidable officer of justice during the earlier part 
of Mohammed Ali's rule was the mohtisab, or inspector 
of weights and measures. He was a one-eyed old man 
of Kurdish extraction, called Mustapha Kashef. He 
combined the office of aga of the janissaries with that of 
inspector of weights and measures, and was ill-famed for 
his extreme cruelty. Once a fat butcher was short of 
weight in his mutton, and several ounces of flesh were 
cut off that part of his own body which, in the language 
of the shambles, may be called the " hind quarter." On 
another occasion he asked the seller of melons called 
Ahmed Abou Sitty, who sold fruit at Bab-el-Sharieh, 
" What is the price of this melon ? " Ahmed Abou Sitty 


(so called Father of Six, because he had married and 
divorced six wives in one week) took hold of his own ear 
and said, " Cut off my ear ;" " What is the price of this 
melon?" thundered the Kurd, "Cut off my ear," 
shouted Father of Six, "I sell cheaper than my neigh- 
bours, and no matter what price I ask, you would find 
me overcharging." The Kurd, being checkmated for 
once, did not punish him, and Abou Sitty was made 
sheikh of the fruit-vendors. 

One day a respectable looking man was pointed out 
to me with a red Cashmere turban, riding a sleek fine 
horse. It was the mokaddem~el-Mezowereen, or chief 
observer of the swindlers. His vocation was to keep the 
government informed of everything the swindlers were 
about ; but, when affairs were going badly with one of 
the fraternity, he occasionally got him out of the scrape 
for a consideration. 

The administration of justice was undoubtedly greatly 
improved by Mohammed Ali, in civil as well as in 
criminal cases, and many suitors with well grounded 
rights, who had failed before the Cadi, succeeded on 
personal appeal to the Pasha. An instance of this 
was the celebrated Eoduan case, of which we give an 
outline. On the line of bazaars leading from the castle 
to the gate of Zueileh is a long shoe-bazaar, called 
Kassabat Eoduan after the original builder and pro- 
prietor of that name, who had been one of the Mameluke 
Beys some time previous to the French invasion, and is 
frequently mentioned by the historians of the eighteenth 
century, and known, although emir of the pilgrimage to 
Mecca, to have been a disorderly and dissipated character. 
Long after his death his descendant and heir to the 
property was accosted by a stranger who called him- 
self Eoduan, and pretended to be the true heir. A 
legal investigation took place, and the Cadi ordered 


witnesses to bo produced. The false Roduan pro- 
cured false witnesses, and gave the cadi a hand- 
some present, but the real Eoduan having intelli- 
gence of this, promised a larger sum to the witnesses if 
they would disappoint their employer. " Where are 
your witnesses?" said the cadi, to the false Eoduan. 
" Here they are," answered he. " Well and what do 
you testify ?" " We testify that in the night this man 
came to us with money, and paid us for swearing false." 
As subornation of perjury does not appear to be prac- 
ticably cognizable by oriental courts of justice, the cadi 
contented himself with sending away the false Roduan, 
and said to the true one, " Come to-morrow, and I will 
confirm your title." When the morrow came, the false 
Eoduan stepped forward, and made out to the pretended 
satisfaction of the cadi that the affair of yesterday was 
a. trick, his witnesses having been suborned. The cadi, 
who was no doubt a partner in the speculation of the 
false Eoduan, decreed half to the plaintiff and half to the 
defendant ; but some time afterward, Mohammed Ali 
took the matter up, and, as the family of the false Eoduan 
died off, their shares reverted to the original family. 

Criminal justice was also much reformed by the Pasha. 
In the midst of this shoe bazaar of Eoduan, is a gate 
where from the time of Sultan Bibars down to the 
first years of Mohammed Ali's rule there was a lamp 
which burnt all night, and burglars caught in the night 
were killed at once. A bull's hide was laid out, and 
their heads cut off. The corners of the hide were then 
gathered up, and the body, being put on an ass, was con- 
veyed to the washing place at the Eoumeyleh. The 
washers had an office and received altogether about 
a hundred piastres a month through the so called 
wekweel-el-haramayn. The ancient law of Islamism 
in cases of theft was that the offenders should lose their 


right hand for the first offence, and no doubt, the fear 
of such a summary punishment kept down larceny ; but 
as this incapacitated the criminal from gaining his bread, 
Mohammed Ali used to send thieves to work, chained, in 
the arsenal. This punishment, however, from having 
been so often applied in the case of trivial political 
offences, was scarcely held ignominious, and Mohammed 
Ali therefore determined that thieves should henceforth 
be marked on the hand with the word haramy (robber,) 
or at least with the initial of the word. There were, 
however, other punishments ; for, during my residence 
in Cairo, thieves who had attempted to take off the bronze 
stanchions of a mosque, were paraded about Cairo with 
their hands and heads in a wooden frame, reminding me 
of the designs of Chinese punishments. 

The horrible punishments of skinning and impalement 
were abolished. The former was not uncommon in the 
time of the Mameluke Beys, as an excruciating ransom 
of the last penalty of the law. Hence the alliterative 
expression, " Aslakny la tashnakny," that is to say, 
" Skin me but do not strangle me,' 5 which horrible 
process Avas preferred to death. Europeans would pro- 
bably be of a different opinion, if they had only this 
abominable alternative. 

For debtors, ordinary imprisonment is still the punish- 
ment. The debtors' prison is close to the cadi's court ; 
and being desirous of seeing an Egyptian establishment 
of this kind, I spent a forenoon in it. In this part of 
Cairo, the new offices built by Mohammed Ali, and the 
magnificent ancient constructions to the west of them, 
are altogether divested of the mean but picturesque 
aspect which Cairo often presents. A suitor might be 
seen pacing anxiously up and down, with law papers in 
his hand, long slips of thick paper, almost black with 
the close writing, and a few seals at the bottom of them, 


imprinted in bluish ink. At the door of the gaol, was a 
Kurd, in a short petticoat, who asked, "which of the 
prisoners we wanted?" but a backschish smoothed all 
difficulties, and the Kurd started up from the wicker- 
frame of palm-branches on which he reclined, with easy 
agility, and, leading me into a dark passage, opened a 
door with a large wooden bolt, and I found myself 
among the prisoners. The apartment might be about 
twenty feet high, the light being admitted by two barred 
unglazed windows, close to the roof. The walls were 
perfectly bare, and in the upper corner of the room a 
spider's web of thick texture fluttered in the slight 
breeze which ventilated the apartment. On the floor 
were the mats, carpets, and cushions of the prisoners. 
Wearing the native costume, and having my brow 
bronzed by the sun, I was supposed to be a prisoner, 
and was immediately asked the particulars of the process 
or " dawa" which had brought me thither. I answered 
that I had come to see the prison. On enquiry I found 
the debts for which the people were confined were 
generally from three pounds to five pounds. One of the 
prisoners was a Bedouin, who had been entrusted with 
a camel, which had died in his keeping : he subsisted 
entirely on charity. They told HIP their cases very 
freely. One was a miller, who had not understood his 
business: he told me that this was the first day of his 
imprisonment, and added, with evident distress, that 
"his body was with the cadi, but his mind with his 
two little children." Another, a very young man, had 
pawned his wife's ornaments, and spent her dowry ; and, 
being called before the cadi, had been cast into prison. 
The prisoners occasionally whispered among themselves, 
and a well-dressed townsman said aloud, "You are here 
on the part of Effendina, the Pasha, to enquire how we 
are treated." I explained that this was a mistake, and 


ordered a pilaff for the poorer prisoners, and coffee to be 
served all round. 

" May God bless you !" said a man with weak eyes, a 
grey beard, and green turban ; and he immediately said 
in a decided voice, " Elfateha," that is to say, the reci- 
tation of the opening passage of the Koran, which is a 
formula of prayer ; on which all the prisoners, in chorus, 
holding out their hands, and looking upwards, recited 
this sublime exordium. One of the prisoners was a 
soldier of fortune, who had not been able to make up 
his mind to serve with the regular troops. He had 
been with Kurschid Pasha in Aleppo, at the period 
of the great revolt and siege in 1819, when, on the 
occasion of that governor imposing a house-tax, the 
officers of the Porte were murdered, though after four 
months' fighting the Pasha put down the revolt by force. 
This man praised Kurschid Pasha for the number of 
heads he had cut off as a lesson. He spoke with great 
contempt of the new Nizam discipline, because, when 
men march in lines, the coward is never known from 
the man of iron. I need not multiply these details, 
further than to say, that imprisonments are not pro- 
longed, since, after ninety days' detention, a debtor, on 
making oath of insolvency, is liberated.* 

* The readers of Melusina will have no difficulty in remembering this sketch as 
the groundwork of a scene in that romance. It is in the admirable pages of Mr. 
Lane that the reader may acquire a thorough knowledge of the population of Cairo. 
Still the mine is so rich, that a dozen writers could not exhaust it ; and if the 
traveller or historian have previously familiarized himself with the colloquial 
language, the political history, religious institutions, and domestic manners of the 
Arabs, he will find his materials to accumulate upon him with great rapidity. In 
these chapters some points of contact with Mr. Lane have been inevitable ; but, 
conscious of his immeasurable inferiority to this great Arab scholar and acute 
observer, the author of these pages has, as a general rule, selected from his manuscript 
volumes of notes matter which might not prove uninteresting to persons already 
familiar with Mr. Lane's delightful works. 




APART from the government is the local Arab aris- 
tocracy, or leading families, who are distinguished by 
ancient birth, and in some instances by considerable 
property. Their occupations, too, are interwoven with 
the learning and religion of the Arabs. For the youth 
are carefully educated in Arab Moslem learning, and in 
mature life are nazirs, or inspectors of mosques, or fill 
other offices, such as that of mufti, or chief doctor of 
the law, or nackeeb-el asraf. They consider them- 
selves greatly superior to all the pashas of Turkey ; but, 
as they have not the political power, or the large 
government salaries, their position is in reality inferior 
to that of the leading Turks, although they are treated 
with a certain amount of deference. In Damascus there 
really is, or was until lately, a powerful native aris- 
tocracy; but in Cairo the Mamelukes having been for 
so many centuries the leading people, there have been 
always very few native Arab families of any account. 
This was remarked by the Venetians, under the Mame- 
luke Sultans, and since then there has been no change, 
except for the worse, as Mohammed Ali's spoliation of 
title deeds still further reduced this class. 

One of the leading persons of this description was 


Sheikh Sadat, who was very fanatical, although he was 
said to have been originally of Jewish extraction. He 
was very wealthy and had a magnificent house, and 
moreover was honorary wekeel of the house of Ali and 
nazir of the mosque of Hosseyneyn. The acknowledged 
head of the ancient native families was the Sheikh-el- 
Bekri, a lineal descendant of Abou Bekr, one of the 
first of the Caliphs. Sheik-el-Bekri held the office of 
chief of the Shereefs, or descendants of the prophet, and 
his income was said to be about twelve pounds per day. 
He was hospitable, and had a large house of dependants. 
This was the principal family in Cairo during the 
French occupation, and by no means fanatical towards 
Franks. One of the females of the family was even 
lax in her morals, having been mistress of a French 
officer, and was put to death on the departure of the 
French. I was taken by a friend to one of the sheikhs' 
evening festivals, and he received me very kindly. The 
house was splendidly illuminated, and the head of the 
family, a fine old man with a white beard, wore bright 
crimson robes. The Ananeey family claimed descent 
from Omar, and Sheikh-el-Ainany, a merchant who 
belonged to both the corps of merchants and ulema, had 
an income as small merchant and nazir of a mosque 
which did not exceed 200 per annum. A family 
who claimed to be descended from Osman, formerly 
resided in Cairo, where they still have some pro- 
perty; their wekeel, or legal representative, being the 

Of the ulema, Sheikh Attar was allowed to be the 
most versed in polite literature, and was transferred to 
be Imam of the mosque of the Egyptian pupils in Paris. 
Sheikh-el-Dessouky (Mr. Lane's sheikh) was the best in 
pure philology, having, as was said, " all the dictionary 
in his head." As a general scholar, there was none 


better than Sheikh Mohammed Shehab. I made the 
acquaintance of the latter, whose conversation Mr. Lane 
described as "the most delightful banquet which can 
be offered to his friends." He is of the illustrious 
Koreishite house of the Hedjaz, one portion of which 
remains at Mecca, and another branch has turned 
Christian, after having enjoyed the Emirship of Mount 
Lebanon for many generations, as I stated in my account 
of the Emir Beshir.* 

The house of Sheikh Mohammed Shehab, was close to 
the Bab-es-Shareey, or gate of vermicelli sellers, which 
was one of the gates of Fatimite Cairo, but now, like 
Temple-bar, is in the midst of the town. His divan 
opened on a garden, and, it being Bairam, was full of 
visitors. The house gave signs neither of poverty nor 
of wealth, and the company included a fair mixture of 
the better classes of native Caireens, for only one person 
present besides myself was in the Egyptian-Turkish 
dress. A few trees, growing on the terrace that over- 
looked the canal, enlivened the apartment and the house 
of Burkhardt, and a similar garden overlooking the 
Khalidge, but without trees, was pointed out to me. The 
Sheikh had two servants, a male Nubian and a woman, 
and used to sit on the balcony smoking his pipe, and 
looking down on the Khalidge. The sheikh asked me 
after lakob Effendi (Mr. Burton), who, I perceived, was 
generally liked in Cairo, but I could give no intelligence 
of him. He also told me that his property was in 
Mecca, and that his relations managed it ; but that the 
Syrian branch of the family having been settled there 

* I saw this family in exile at Constantinople. The old Emir Beshir, although 
much hroken by age, had that true nobility of look which many years of power, 

combined with inherent personal dignity, confer. His son, the Emir Ameen, was 
enormously fat, and had returned to Islamism (in appearance, for he was a thorough 
Christian at heart I mean ' 
government would restore to him 
which was not realised. 

7irtuiK7U i<u jLoiaiuiaiii ^111 appeal uiiutj, itu juu \vus a inorOU (r H 

in his political sympathies), no doubt in the hope that the 
;o him the principality of Mount Lebanon, an expectation 


for seven hundred years, all connexion between them 
had been broken off. The circumstance of one of the 
oldest families of Mecca, belonging to the tribe of 
Mohammed himself, adopting Christianity was con- 
sidered perfectly marvellous, and viewed by several 
of the company with a species of horror, the expres- 
sion of which was accompanied by sundry quotations 
from the Koran, in reference to those who disbelieve 
its doctrines. It is a curious circumstance that, although 
Hakem was one of the most remarkable of the Fatimite 
Caliphs, and although his mosque stands in gloom and 
desolation to this day, as a huge and conspicuous ruin, 
this company composed of Caireens of more than 
average intelligence had the most obscure and vague 
ideas of the origin of the Druse religion, which has 
been so thoroughly illustrated by the learned De Sacy 
in his most invaluable work. The Emir Beshir turning 
Christian was also a riddle they could not solve. 

Another celebrated alim, Sheikh-el-Tunsi, lived near 
the bridge of the Lion, which is at the south-west angle 
of Cairo, and forms nearly an oblong square. The bridge 
is so called from the lions sculptured on it, no doubt the 
arms of some Syrian hostelry, and a souvenir of the 
Crusaders, the bridge having been built by Bibars in 
1270. The house of the sheikh conveyed no notion of 
the comfort in which learning ought to live. His selamlic 
was a damp apartment projecting over the canal, with 
the plaster peeling off the walls. "What makes the 
Cairo people prefer the canal? I know not, for when 
the inundation is over, it looks like Fleet ditch. 

The sheikh now made his appearance. He was an 
elderly man, with a green turban, a weak voice, and a 
mild expression of countenance; but spoke such pure 
and elegant Arabic that it was a pleasure to hear 
him. The sheikh had led a wandering life. He was 


originally a native of Tunis, and of course acquainted 
with the coast of Barbary ; but he had spent no less 
than eight years in the kingdom of Darfour, where no 
European traveller since Brown had penetrated up to 
the close of the last century. Sheikh Omar-el-Tunsi 
wrote a book giving an account of Darfour, which has 
been translated into French. "Darfour," said he, "is 
very good for the blacks, but a white man is half roasted 
alive." He praised the delightful climate of Cairo, 
which was the happy medium between the heat of 
Darfour and the intolerable cold and rain of Syria. He 
gave me some humorous details of the capital of that 
sable kingdom ; and explained how the dignity of the 
monarch was shewn by an officer of a certain rank 
wiping up his expectorations as soon as they descended 
upon the ground. He also spoke of the luxury of 
having a cool bed of white ashes during the intense 
heat, at Darfour relieved by the monsoon rains, which 
do not extend to Egypt. 

There were two parties in the ulema, the great 
majority being obstinately opposed to the Frank inno- 
vations of the Pasha, but offering only a slight passive 
resistance, through fear of the government. A certain 
number, however some from superior intelligence, 
some from good nature, and others from interested 
cupidity were accommodating. Among the more in- 
telligent was Sheikh Eifaa, one of the leading classical 
professors (in Arabic) at Cairo. When he spoke of 
the growing taste of j^oung Egyptians for European 
literature, I mentioned the u Cours de Literature" of M. 
Villemain as being the most delightful critical work 
that I knew of, throwing all the Blairs, Marmontels, 
and Laharpes into the shade ; on which he at once 
called his secretary, and gave the order for its being got 
from Paris immediately. A specimen of a good man, 


opposed to all Frank innovations and of the true old 
stamp of primitive Moslems, might be mentioned in 
Sheikh-el-Mawardy. He was considered one of the 
Ehl-el-Hakika, or people of truth, to whom God makes 
direct communications. He was a very pious and 
generous man, gave all he had to the poor, and was 
much respected. Coffee being a forbidden narcotic, 
he served to his friends vinegar and water to quench 
their thirst, and not to heat the blood. He had a habit 
of speaking straight on, like a preacher in a pulpit : 
he gave all sorts of good advice to visitors, to avoid 
the devil and his works ; and drew magnificent pictures 
of heaven at the last day, when God would be sur- 
rounded by his ministers, prophets, and welis, Gabriel, 
Michael, Azraeel, Abraham, Noah, Jesus, and Mo- 
hammed, Imam-es-Shafei, Said-el-Bedaweey, and Abd- 
el-Kader-el-Gilany. He scarcely gave time to ask a 
question, but kept pouring out such a cataract of angels, 
archangels, prophets, imams, and welis, that visitors 
were usually silenced. 

The strictest sect in Cairo was certainly that of the 
Wahabys, whose lives had been spared on the fall of 
their cause in Arabia, and who were living in exile 
at Cairo. I have already detailed the great revolt of 
these covenanted puritans of Islamism. These exiles 
lived at first on the road to Boulak, and when the great 
plague of 1835 raged, they got leave to quit Cairo, and 
go to Aboudalih, where the plague swept away nearly 
the half of them, notwithstanding the change of resi- 
dence. I was introduced to the principal of them, a 
relative of Souhoud; but on his desiring to know my 
motive for making his acquaintance, and on my answer- 
ing that it was the vivid interest I had taken in the 
struggle of this singular people, he seemed puzzled, 
incredulous, and reserved. Literary curiosity, or a 


vivid human interest, seemed to be something he could 
not understand ; and we parted without my having suc- 
ceeded in making him comprehend the why or wherefore 
of my visit. He was sure that a man wearing the Turk- 
ish costume, having a fair complexion, and making now 
and then perceptible slips in Arabic, was not a Wahaby, 
and therefore could not be an ally of his : I might be an 
imprudent friend, and, most likely of all, I might be a 
spy of Mohammed Ali. Such were the surmises that 
passed through my mind after an unsuccessful attempt 
to establish familiar intercourse with this remarkable 
sect. But as I was treated with polite reserve, without 
the slightest display of fanaticism, or even discourtesy, 
I had no reason to complain. The Wahabys, in Cairo, 
although their political pretensions were at an end, con- 
tinued their customs. If a dog passed during prayer they 
began washing and praying. They never ate green vege- 
tables, but rice and flesh, and were particularly fond of 
that of young camels. After the great plague, they main- 
tained that the ceasing of this scourge was attributable to 
the appearance of a star called Touyah. Like the people 
of Nablouse, and of Syria and Bagdad, they are of the sect 
of Hambaleh, and it is generally remarked that those of 
this sect are of a more straightforward disposition than 
those who are of the sect of Shafei. The Shafei are 
Jesuits ; not liars, but men of Jesuitical meanings. 

The principal Arabians of Cairo may generally be met 
with at the house of the Egyptian Agent of the Shereef 
of Mecca, who receives strangers politely and presents a 
variety of the coffee berry, which may be relished in 
Arabia, and is even preferred, but is the most nauseous 
to the European. There are usually at least fifty Mecca- 
kewy in Cairo, and ten or twelve from Medina. In the 
summer there are from a hundred to two hundred natives 
of the Hedjas in Constantinople ; but they cannot stand 

VOL. II. 13 


the cold, and rarely remain in winter. The wekeel told me 
that he even felt the cold of Cairo to be bitter and piercing. 
He spoke with enthusiasm of the delightful groves of 
Tayf in summer. An earthquake having taken place in 
Cairo a few days before, I asked him if he was afraid. 
He opened his eyes in astonishment, and said, " Why 
afraid, do not I put my trust in God ?" So it is in the 
East: the undoubting, unquestioning, undissecting awe 
of the Deity, is the keystone of their theory of temporal 
government. To elude the operation of the physical 
laws, even when they are noxious or destructive, may 
occur by instinct, but is systematically reprobated. Man 
is supposed to be chained helpless in the prison of fate. 

Earthquakes occasionally occur in Egypt. Sometimes 
temples and mosques are thrown down, and there are 
frequently movements of a slighter description. In all 
probability the pyramids were constructed for the ex- 
press purpose of defying not only the ordinary ravages 
of time, but the extraordinary convulsions of nature. I 
was one day sitting with my sheikh, when I felt a shaky 
motion which prevented me from writing. Some people, 
particularly absent and absorbed men of letters, have a 
habit of crossing one leg over the other, and shaking 
their foot. I said, " What makes you shake your foot 
so vigorously?" "You are mistaken," answered he. 
The house next mine had been recently pulled down, 
and we had been frequently troubled with noises of 
falling stones ; so I said, " In pulling down the next 
house, I hope they will not knock down mine." Scarcely 
had I said this, when, sitting on the divan, I seemed to 
be in a carriage, jolting over a rough pavement, and my 
Sheikh Hanife, rising up, pale as death, said it was an 
earthquake ; and we both rushed out into the street, 
which was instantaneously filled with men, women, and 
children, in a state of the greatest alarm, some of whom 


said, " that the world was changed from one horn of the 
great bull to the other." However, the only damage done 
was in the fall of an old minaret, and the circumstance 
of so many beautiful and slender minarets still subsisting 
in Cairo, is a proof that severe earthquakes are not 
frequent in Egypt. They come with extraordinary 
violence at intervals of some centuries, but, altogether, 
much less frequently than in southern Italy and Greece. 
The principal religious ceremonies have been so fully 
described by Mr. Lane, that it is not requisite to go over 
the same ground. The most striking of the superstitions, 
not being in any way an essential ceremony of Islamism, 
is the doseh or treading by the sheikh of the Saadeey der- 
vishes, on the festival of the prophet (Moolid-el-Nebby). 
I may briefly describe it, as witnessed by me on one 
occasion. Those who bordered the line of procession 
were made to lie flat down on their faces ; and when 
they were packed closely together, the sheikh a stout 
jolly man, with a green kaouk approached, the horse 
on which he rode being led by two grooms. It was 
evident that the horse did not like treading on the backs 
of the prostrate Moslems, and moved from side to side ; 
and the sheikh was evidently also much embarrassed, 
and did not keep the animal steady in hand. At last 
the horse moved rapidly and shouts of pain were heard. 
Those who were closely wedged in, were raised up by 
the spectators, either seriously bruised or quite uncon- 
scious. Death sometimes ensues from this abominable 
contravention of the physical laws, as if such delicate 
machinery as that of shoulder-blades, the spine, ribs, and 
veins, had been constructed to bear the pressure of the 
hoofs of a horse, weighted by a stout man and a heavy 
saddle. That such a superstitious procedure should be 
pleasing to the Deity who made the laws it violates, must 
appear to every intelligent man one of the most striking 


instances of human delusion, paralleled only by the 
macerations of monkish superstition, the un-Christian 
horrors of a Scotch sabbath, or the more inconceivable 
tortures of the Indian peninsula. 

The superstition of the people of Cairo shows itself 
in many other ways, and is quite as absurd as that 
recorded of the ignorant, in the time of the ancients. To 
this day shrewd people in Cairo make a living by pre- 
tending to drive evil spirits out of harems by spells and 
incantations, not only the Evil Eye (Ain-el-wuhsh), but 
all sorts of evil spirits. Wives in harems are always 
taking alarms of this sort, and by a trifling gratuity to 
an impostor, who goes through a hocus pocus in which 
reading verses of the Koran forms an essential part, 
repose is restored to the harem for some weeks and 
months at least. If a strange cat enters a house and 
knocks over a jug or glass, and awakes the servant in a 
dark night, he may possibly leave on the following day, 
on the pretext that the house is haunted by afreets. 
Behind the Moristan, a new house was pointed out to me 
with an aloe hanging at the gate, placed there to keep 
away afreets. Sheikh Ahmed-el-Kotoby, who in my 
presence ridiculed the excessive credulity of his fellow- 
countrymen, several times insisted that the Bairactar, or 
" Standard Bearer'' of Sultan Selim, had been living 
since the Turkish conquest of Egypt, in 1517, at Con- 

I may mention one or two more instances of this 
description to which my attention was drawn during my 
researches in the highways and byeways of this capital. 
On the line of street from the citadel to Bab Zueileh, is 
a mosque called Giama-el-Sais, or Mosque of the Groom. 
At the corner of it is a high Corinthian pillar, evidently 
an antique. I asked how the lower part of the pillar 
came to be covered all over with a thick coat of plaster, 


and received for answer, that this was the celebrated 
Amood-el-Metuely, which was proclaimed by a Mog- 
rebbin sheikh to have miraculous effects, and that if 
sterile women licked it with their tongue, they would 
become mothers. All on a sudden the pillar was so 
besieged by people wishing to lick it, that the streets 
were blocked up, and the Pasha, hearing of the delusion, 
caused a guard to stand, while the masons plastered and 
built the lower part of it round with bricks. 

There is a bridge over the Xhalidge called Cantarat- 
el-Kafir, which was formerly called Cantarat-el-Djedeed. 
This change of designation arose from the eccentricities 
of one of those religious fanatics who are tolerated ac- 
cording to Moslem usage. This man was called the 
Wely Ali-el-Tantawy. He was a native of Fantah, a 
considerable town in the Delta, whither pilgrims throng 
to the shrine of the celebrated Said-el-Bedawy. I was 
informed by Sheikh Ahmed-el-Kotoby, the glass-eating 
bookseller, who figures in the Preface to Mr. Lane's 
" Modern Egyptians," that he had made the acquaintance 
of this Wely at Tantah in a very curious manner. "One 
day (he said) I was in the mosque of Said-el-Bedawy, at 
Tantah; and, after the midday prayers, fell asleep till 
night, on a mat; I then looked up, and found myself 
awakened by a man who said, 'It is Eshia, arise and 
pray.' After prayers he opened a bag, which was full 
of flat cakes and bread. I said, ' What do you do with 
all those loaves ? ' He replied, ' They are begged in the 
course of the day, and I feed the dogs of Tantah with 
them ; that is my sole occupation.' " 

When the Wely Ali came to Cairo, he used to stand 
naked on this bridge, and when Mohammed Ali passed, 
he said, in allusion to his new Frank reforms, " That 
man is an infidel!" A multitude of other persons 
were called infidels by him, whose external appearance 


indicated a departure from the old Moslem costume. He 
was quite naked, and when clothes were given him, used 
to tear them. I saw several such persons in Damascus ; 
but the authorities are gradually getting rid of them. 

Bab Arab-el- Ysar is a gate of the suburb of Cairo to 
the south, not far from the citadel, the literal translation 
of the expression being " The gate of the Arabs to the 
left." This quarter of Cairo has altogether a curious 
aspect ; it is close under the chain of hills called Mokat- 
tam, which have not a blade of grass upon them. Here 
is an oratory, which is called Zawiet-el-Wahsh, literally 
" of the animals," for from its proximity to the moun- 
tains, it has been known to be frequented by jackals 
and other beasts that prowl between the cultivated and 
desert territory. Not far off, the strangely called mosque 
of the Messiah has its name derived from two Christians 
that turned Moslem and built the mosque. Christians 
often called themselves Messihieheen, or if I may so 
translate it Messiahites. The women of this quarter are 
mostly employed in washing wool. I found here a 
Dakroory a man from the upper country, almost a 
black who sat at an open stall and was consulted on 
confidential family matters, by women from all parts of 
Cairo, and was supposed to make a considerable revenue. 
They would come saying, for instance, " Oh Sheikh I 
open the book, I am barren and desire a child ;" or, " Oh 
Sheikh ! my husband wishes to divorce me ; pray consult 
the book, and turn him from his purpose.'' He had two 
books of divining science before him, the one called 
" Abou Maa'sher," the other, " Hodour." He made me 
separate beads to the right and left, three times, and 
consulting his books, said " that I was to start on my 
journey on a "Wednesday, but not to wear stockings on 
the first day of my journey, and that I should arrive 
safely in my own country.'' There appears to have been 


no hanging or burning for witchcraft in Europe later 
than the seventeenth century, but in Cairo, an execution 
took place a few years before the French expedition to 
Egypt, so as to be remembered by many persons in Mo- 
hammed Ali's time, although I regret that I was unable 
to get the exact year. The name of the so called- wizard 
was Sheikh Hussein, and he was accused of being able 
to write powerful talismans, producing hatred between 
persons that loved each other. For this he was hanged 
at the Bab-Zawiet-el-Wekeel. 






HAVING given the reader some sketches of the classes 
which have the Moslem character most distinctly stamped 
upon them, I may now proceed to say something of the 
Christians and Jews. 

Close to the Ezbekieh, is the Coptic quarter, with 
passages dark, dismal, gloomy, and noisome. Here are 
neither arabesques, nor covered mustabahs, nor effendis 
with pipe-bearers, nor ulema in their white turbans and 
smooth chins, and the bazaar itself is shabby and out of 
repair ; the inhabitants are the descendants of the former 
rulers of Egypt, of the constructors of Thebes and the 
pyramids. It is chiefly since the time of Caliph Hakem, 
that the Copts have fallen into such a wretched condition. 
Memorials of the former magnificence of the Copts, their 
high positions among the earlier Moslems, and their 
learning, are occasionally discoverable. Mr. Lieder, 
an intelligent German missionary, informed me that he 
had seen a magnificent copy of the Gospels, with much 
of the text and beautiful Arabic poetry, and a Coptic 
commentary. Five leaves being wanting, he went to 
the patriarch, expecting to be able to find five analogous 
leaves in the library of this Pope of Eastern African 
Christianity, but was astonished at being told that the 


patriarch had never seen any copy of the Gospels so 
beautiful, and did not even know of the existence of such 
a manuscript. 

One of the principal characteristics of the rule of 
Mohammed Ali was religious tolerance ; and, so far as 
the Pasha was concerned, complete indifference. His 
great object was to get the European powers to think 
favourably of his rule ; and this was most likely to be 
accomplished by strict protection of Franks and 
Christians, and such an effective curbing of native 
fanaticism, as produced the deepest exasperation in the 
Moslem mind. The Pasha not only made the most use 
he could of the Copts, who both before and since the 
Turkish conquest have always shown a singular expert- 
ness in arithmetic and book-keeping, but he raised 
several persons of this race to the dignity of Bey. The 
most respectable and intelligent was Basilios Bey, the 
head of his account department, who died in November, 
1847, to the great regret both of the Christian and the 
French population. Equally intelligent, but infamous, 
was Abderrahman Bey, who had turned Moslem, and 
proved himself a most cruel exactor of tribute for the 
Pasha's purse ; so that out of decency, and in deference 
to European opinion, this man was suspended, chiefly in 
consequence of the evil effect which his exactions had 
produced by being commented upon in the European 
newspapers. Mohammed Ali did not care two straws 
about the exactions of the renegade Copt, but he found 
it politic publicly to repudiate any connection with the 
tortures which this heartless man had inflicted on the 
peasantry. Much praise must be bestowed on the German 
missionaries, who, chiefly with English funds, have been 
most active in educating Copts and giving them a 
smattering of Frank science. 

On one occasion I determined on attending Divine 


service on Palm Sunday in the Coptic cathedral, where 
the patriarch was to officiate. Plunging into the Coptic 
quarter, I passed through a succession of crooked lanes, 
and at length arrived at the temple of this ancient 
people, which was undistinguished by any architectural 
decoration, a truly remarkable lapse in the external 
circumstances of a nation, when we think of the colossal 
magnificence of the Pharaonic and the elegance of the 
Greek periods of Egyptian architecture. But one cir- 
cumstance vividly recalled the physical conditions of the 
region which gave birth to Christianity. The street 
was crowded with lads selling palm branches, without 
which no one entered the church. The temple was an 
oblong square, and lighted from above. A screen of 
inlaid chips of carpentry, ebony, and mother-of-pearl, 
disposed in all sorts of arabesque devices, separated the 
sanctum sanctorum from the body of the church, and 
from the gaze of the congregation : a door in the centre 
allowing the altar to be visible in the distance. At the 
other end of the church, which was all railed and trel- 
lised off by curiously turned and combined wooden 
spars, might be seen fair white ruby -ringed hands, 
corners of silk dresses, cashmere shawls, and a bright 
diamond sparkling in the obscurity, denoting that behind 
the fairer portion of the Coptic flock was separated from 
the males. The body of the church was covered with 
a thick Turkey carpet : and next the door, were hun- 
dreds of pairs of shoes, from the bright new morocco of 
the ma'alem, to the cobbled and stitched old slipper of 
the pauper. Five hundred luxuriant branches of palms, 
held upright by the male part of the congregation, gave 
to the place an aspect of a greenhouse. 

The patriarch and his deacons made their appearance, 
the former in a dress of purple and gold, beautifully em- 
broidered, and which, being clasped in front w ith a hood 


covering the head, reminded the spectator of the mosaic 
representations of the Lower Empire. The deacons were 
dressed in simple white robes of linen and gold, just as 
one sees in the pictures of the old Florentine masters. 
The patriarch was so infirm, and coughed so often, that 
when, after the Psalms, he rose to read a passage in the 
Coptic Gospels, his voice did not rise above a whisper. 
A grey-bearded priest then came to a desk, and putting 
on a pair of spectacles which being without ear-joints, 
and simply fastened to his nose by elastic compression, 
gave him a strong nasal twang, he commenced reading 
in an Arabic manuscript Bible the account of the en- 
trance of Christ into Jerusalem from St. John. The con- 
gregation during the whole service made the sign of the 
cross, and bowed at the name of Jesus; but there was 
certainly a want of that reverence and absorption which 
is visible in our own service. Nothing can exceed the 
reverence and humility of a Copt in the presence of a 
Pasha; but here there was much general conversation 
and whispering, and at one moment a most audible dis- 
cussion between the deacons as to the forms of the ser- 
vice. And when the Gospels were read in Arabic, there 
was so much whispering and talking, that a priest cried 
out, "There is no hearing on account of the noise." 
The patriarch now retired, and came back in a vestment 
of red satin, richly embroidered with gold, and then 
administered the sacrament, the communicants going 
round the table in turn, and receiving a mouthful of 
bread, and also a gold spoonful of wine, poured from a 
goblet held by the left hand of the priest. 

There is an old Coptic quarter in the upper part of 
the town, close to the citadel, but now abandoned to the 
Moslems in a great measure. . I visited its church, which 
looked very old, shabby, and neglected ; but in the 
shrine is preserved a pretended relic of primitive Chris- 


tianity ail arm of St. Theodore, or Mar Tadros (Theo- 
doras), as the Copts call him. Certainly, in antiquity, 
none of the oriental churches can reasonably take prece- 
dence of that of the Copts, or of Alexandria, as it is 
sometimes called ; for in Alexandria, then the second 
city of the Roman empire, the Gospel was preached by 
Mark, the evangelist, and to this day, Abyssinia receives 
its patriarchs from the Coptic church of Egypt. 

The occupations of the Copts are various, the most im- 
portant being, as already stated, that of keeping the 
government accounts, in which they are most expert. 
In the Siagha, or goldsmiths' and jewellers' bazaar, we 
find Copts and Jews at work, but no Moslems or Syrian 
Christians. Nearly all the millers in Cairo were Copts, 
and most of the water-carriers, and many carpenters. 
Besides the division by trades, there is also a distinction 
between Copts, native of Cairo, and those who have 
come from the Fayoum, or still more remote provinces, 
to essay their fortunes in the metropolis. Sometimes 
these latter succeed, get into easy circumstances, and 
bring their relatives to Cairo. I heard a pleasant story 
of a Copt of the humblest origin from one of the villages 
of the Upper Nile, who, after being successful, brought 
his widowed mother to Cairo, and thought to honour her 
by offering her a diamond ornament ; but she refused it 
in anger, saying "What! shall I wear glass? No! I 
will only wear bendekeey" (Venetian sequins). 

The Frank quarter of Cairo is so well known to over- 
land travellers as to require very little description. The 
old Frank inhabitants used to wear the native costume, 
and the females spoke Arabic as their native language ; 
but the establishment of the overland passage, and the 
Frank inundation, have given a different character to 
the Frank society of Cairo. To this we may add, that 
nearly all government officials of the superior rank, and 


many also of the inferior rank, speak French ; so that, 
except in Pera and Smyrna, there is no part of the 
Ottoman Empire where the native languages are less 
requisite for the ordinary necessities of the passing tra- 
veller than in Cairo. On the other hand, very little is 
to be learned from these Europeanized Moslems; and 
Cairo, in all its peculiarities, remains a sealed book to the 
man who has not so much of the language as enables 
him to converse fluently with the natives. 

The most interesting Franks residing in Egypt in the 

C? O <^Jv .L 

time of Mohammed Ali were Mr. Lane and Clot Bey : 
the one introduced Frank medical science to Egypt, 
and the other has done more than any other indi- 
vidual to acquaint Europe with the genuine native 
Egyptian in all his peculiarities. These two men were, 
therefore, the continuators of the double function with 
which Bonaparte wished to invest his Institute of Egypt 
the one to acquaint the people of Egypt with Frank 
science, the other to acquaint the people of Europe with 
the religion and the manners of Egypt. And without 
detracting from the acknowledged value of the men of 
the Institute of Egypt, who including such names as 
those of Bonaparte, Monge, Berthollet, Fourier, and 
Larry were of a higher stamp than their successors, 
I must say it is in reality the latter who, by much longer 
residence in the country, and by living in an assured 
and comparatively pacific state of society, have given a 
certain impress to the Egypt of more recent times. I 
place Mr. Lane and Clot Bey in juxta-position, not be- 
cause their labours were in any way associated, but 
because the one is the most complete type of the Euro- 
pean profound in Arabic lore, and in knowledge of the 
arcana of Cairo life ; and the other, a man of European 
science who has shown himself active and practical in 
its application to the wants of Egypt. 


Mr. Lane avoided Franks, and seldom quitted the 
Moslem quarter ; but, through the kindness of Her 
Majesty's Consul, Mr. Walne, I was introduced to him. 
One Friday, after the afternoon prayer, we mounted our 
asses, and alighting near the Bab-el-Halk, asked for 
Mansour Effendi, and were shown into a room fitted up 
with book-cases. Mr. Lane wore a dark-green Nizam 
dress, and had allowed his beard to grow. He was then 
engaged in writing a dictionary of the Arabic language, 
and was extremely laborious, although not enjoying 
vigorous health. Some persons supposed that, like 
Burckhardt, he made a profession of Islamism ; but this 
is a mistake, he simply conformed to the manners, lan- 
guage, and dress of the Arabs. Endowed with intelli- 
gence and perseverance, and with that plasticity of 
temperament which has enabled him to utilize his oppor- 
tunities; the result has been a large mass of valuable 
matter added to the common stock of information on 
Egypt, in which he has no rival, much less a superior.* 

On being introduced to Clot Bey, he gave an amusing 
account of the way in which he first broke through the 
prejudices of the Moslems in reference to anatomy. 
"First of all," said he, "let us get a dog and dissect 
him not even a Moslem's dog, but a Jew's dog, or a 
Christian's dog," and after a little grumbling they con- 

* Mr. Lane told me that when he first arrived in Egypt in 1826, there being no 
steamboats or overland transit, and only a few travellers, great hatred existed 
towards the Franks ; and although the Pasha had begun his reforms, very few French 
costumes were to be seen in the Mousky, and on several occasions, going to out-of- 
the-way villages, he was in danger of being killed. Sometimes sitting in cafes, and 
overhearing conversation, when no one suspected the presence of a Frank, he was 
more than once disagreeably surprised by finding that the project of massacring all 
the Franks in Cairo as a lesson to the Pasha not to proceed further with his Frank 
innovations, was no unusual topic of discussion. On his second visit to Egypt in 
1834, there was much more toleration and facility for Franks ; but there was still 
so profound an irritation against the government, that every man who had relations 
with it, or with Franks, was an object of suspicion to the ulema, although he might 
be a Moslem. Even a man suspected of frequenting the houses of government people 
or conversing with them had a difficulty in getting books out of the mosques to read 
or copy.' 


sented. Then at a cemetery outside of the town some 
skeletons and skulls were scattered about. " Eeally," said 
he, to his pupils, who were adults, "what harm if we 
get a few of these skulls and bones for the sake of 
explanation to you ; they may as well lie upon my table, 
as to lay bleaching in the sun." This point was acceded 
to, but when he proposed to come to the dissection of 
bodies, there were some murmurs. "Well !'' said he, 
"we will not take a free white man, but a black slave.'' 
Again, at length, the point was given up ; and thus, by 
one step after another, the educated Egyptians have 
arrived at a knowledge of anatomy. "With reference to 
the translations of European medical and scientific books, 
he added, that an entirely new technology had been 
created out of the existing elements of the Arabic 
language, and combined in strict accordance to its ancient 
principles, so that Arabic had been amplified without 
any violation of the fundamental structure of the language. 

Close to the Erank quarter is the so-called Derb-el- 
Djennein, or street of the garden, which is inhabited by 
a large number of Damascene Christians. Both in the 
Frank and Syrian quarters there is an intermingling of 
mosques, tombs, and Moslem houses : for instance there 
is the Zawiet, or oratory of El-Shooshtery ; and, at the 
annual festival, the old Eranks of the quarter used to 
light up their houses out of compliment. Moslem land- 
lords generally like Erank tenants, because they get 
a better rent than they get from Moslems in other 
quarters of the town. 

The Khan-el-Hamzawy, is almost exclusively com- 
posed of the shops kept by the Damascene Christians, 
who inhabit the Derb-el-Djennein, and there is only one 
Moslem shopkeeper in the khan. It is consequently 
closed on Sunday, and is on that account a curiosity in a 
Moslem country. One side of it was in ruins, having 


been burnt down some years before. The best cloth in 
the native bazaars of Cairo, was to be found hei* ? and 
came mostly from England, France, and Austria. When 
a native wishes to get a good suit of clothes, he does not 
order it from the tailor, but purchases the cloth and con- 
signs it to the tailor. Oriental robes, not fitting close to 
the body, do not require to be of so fine and thin stuff as 
the clothes of Europe. I saw much excellent cloth in 
this bazaar, but all much thicker than the usual cloth of 
Europe ; and both in Yorkshire and Moravia, there are 
particular sorts destined for the Levantine market. One 
of the reasons why the cloth is thicker and stronger is 
that it has often to bear heavy silk embroidery. Some 
of the favourite colours, such as bright chocolate, with 
which black silk embroidery harmonises admirably, are 
not usually worn in Frank countries. The consumption 
of bright scarlet cloth, which was the staple export of 
England in the 17th century, has necessarily greatly 
fallen off, since the change of costume on the part of the 
government officers ; for the Mamelukes used to wear 
mostly bright scarlet upper robes, as many of the sheikhs 
of Syria do to this day. The last of the Mameluke beys 
whom I saw in the halls of Mohammed Ali in 1840, was 
dressed from top to toe in scarlet. 

The wealthier Greeks were considered as Franks, and 
resided in the Mousky, or Frank quarter. Here also 
were to be found many Greek artizans, some of them 
Hellenic subjects, and others from the Archipelago. The 
proper Greek quarter, for Greeks settled in Egypt from 
generation to generation, is in the upper and north eastern 
part of Cairo, in which is a handsome convent in con- 
nexion with that of Mount Sinai. After the Greek 
revolution more than one instance occurred of Greek 
priests favouring the escape of Mamelukes of Greek origin 
to the European side of the Mediterranean. 


The Caraites are to the Jews, what Protestants are to 
the Catholics. Their book is the Old Testament and the 
Old Testament alone. The Talmud and the traditions 
are rejected as damnable innovations. They reside in 
the Jews' quarter, with its narrow, unhealthy lanes, but 
are not exactly mixed with the Israelite Jews. The 
synagogue of the Caraites appears internally just like a 
mosque, lamps being hung in broad day on transverse 
beams, and the arches which separate the roof longi- 
tudinally and transversely being carved in stalactites, 
precisely in the Arab manner. The hakam, or priest, 
dressed in a plain brown turban, stood at the door, and 
the synagogue was immediately filled with the community 
in their holiday clothes. The inner part of the church 
was railed off and carpeted. In the outer part there was 
a mat, with a fountain. I was told that prayers were 
said in the morning and at sunset ; that those who were 
dressed and pure could go into the inner space, but 
that those who were in their daily costume remained 

Taking off our shoes, we entered the inner space, and 
we were led up to i\\.Q* sanctum sanctorum, where a veil 
was withdrawn, and we were shown the Old Testament 
in Hebrew manuscript, of a large character on parch- 
ment not bound, but on wooden rollers in the antique 
manner. In conversation with the assembly, they told 
me that they were the original Jews, and that the split 
took place nearly two thousand years ago. They spoke 
of their co-religionists in the Crimea, where there are 
supposed to be three thousand ; and a young man, who 
was represented to me to be the wealthiest of the com- 
munity in Cairo, stated that he had gone to the Crimea 
to try and get Eussian protection, but without effect. 
The Cairaite community was originally in Arabia, but 
was obliged to quit at the Moslem conquest, their 

VOL. II. 19 


name Caraite being derived from that of a town near 

An Abyssinian Caraite presented the contrast of a 
healthy swarthy mountaineer to a rather sickly looking 
townsman. He had eyes of fire, a finely chiselled 
aristocratic nose, and smooth black hair, but he had the 
complexion of a Creole, which showed that his Caucasian 
blood was largely mingled with that of Ethiopia. But, 
maugre his dusky tint, the Jewish cast of features was 
distinctly visible. One of the community asked me to 
look at a house of his, in course of being built ; and look- 
ing through the rooms I regretted that a decent house 
should be erected in so infected a quarter. Going to 
the roof, the prospect was dismal beyond description : a 
Khamsin wind darkened the atmosphere, and everything 
looked brown and yellow. All around were the house- 
tops, looking half ruinous, and the prospect was without 
a single palm to relieve its monotony. 

The Jews' quarter was formerly that of the Circassians, 
but is now entirely inhabited by Israelite and Caraite 
Jews. The latter are much fewer in number, and 
are mostly hawkers ; one or two make cheese. The 
most fanatical Jews are the Mogrebbins. Many instances 
have occurred of Egyptian Jews turning Moslem, but 
very few of Mogrebbins turning Moslem. The Israelites 
are the much wealthier sect, and are engaged as money- 
changers and merchants. They have also to this day 
continued to connect themselves with the process of coin- 
ing. All the female servants of the Jews are Moslems, 
and everything is sold dearer in these two Jews' quarters 
than in the town, because a proportion of the profits goes 
to the synagogues. Instances have been known of some 
unprincipled Moslems going to other parts of Turkey, 
wearing the Jew turban, and gaining money, by pre- 
tending to be converted to Islamism. 


Jewesses frequent the harems, buying and selling 
articles of dress, as well as valuing and exchanging 
dresses. The wife of one of the inhabitants of the Derb- 
el-Habbaleh, used to receive the visits of a Jewess broker 
of ornaments. Her husband was a Turk, connected with 
the government, and the wife, who was remarkably 
handsome, had brought him a dowry ; but he was a man 
of pleasure and expense. He bought whatever his wife 
took a fancy to, and being himself fond of company, her 
dowry was soon dissipated, with her own consent, and 
they got into difficulties. One day the Jewess broker 
entered with a splendid diamond ckoors, or head orna- 
ment, which took the fancy of the Turk's wife, who 
pressed her husband to purchase it for her. At length 
he seemed to agree to the purchase, being in reality 
without money. The Jewess came when the wife was 
absent in the bath, and the Turk, pulling out his dagger, 
murdered her in the courtyard, and took the ornament. 
He then dashed water on the spot so as to wash away 
the blood ; and, having hacked the body in pieces, hid it 
in the garden. A knock was heard at the door ; and he, 
at this moment seeing one of the Jewess's articles of 
dress, which he had forgotten to conceal, ran into the 
manearah, or reception room, and placed it under the 
cushion of the divan. His wife asked the cause of 
the traces of blood, and he said "he had killed a sheep 
for a neighbour.' 5 He then went upstairs and gave his 
wife the ckoors ; but, forgetting the article of dress, and 
his wife happening to find it, the truth flashed on her. 
She did not dare to speak ; but, on the trial, it came out 
that she saw her husband pounding diamond ornaments 
in a mortar so as to separate the diamonds and disfigure 
the metal, in order to make the articles no longer 
recognizable. The police had been following up the 
traces of the woman, and the house being examined, and 


both husband and wife placed under arrest, the latter 
related all she knew, and the man was executed. 

Besides religious or fanatical Moslems, educated 
Franks, industrious Christians, and penurious Jews, 
there is a large slothful, thoughtless, and pleasure-loving 
population in Cairo, who begin with indulgences and 
end in the misery of dining on rat ragout. Some quarters 
are more disorderly than others. One of these was the 
Kalat-el-Kleb, or Castle of Dogs. This quarter is not 
far from that of the Franks, which is very high and has 
good air, having been formerly the locality of the dog- 
kennel of the Emir Yezbek, or Uzbek, after whom the 
Ezbekieh is called. Hence its name " Castle of Dogs," 
(Kalat-el-Kleb); but from its good air, and the jolly 
manners of its inhabitants, it was sometimes jokingly 
called Kalat-el-Tiab. Massive walls of a tower were 
still visible when I was last in Cairo, and close by is the 
so-called Koom-Sheikh-Selameh, built on a pile of shot 
rubbish, and mostly inhabited by the families of servants 
and grooms in Cairo. But to return to the Castle of 
Dogs, the sheikh of the quarter is generally actively 
employed in procuring marriages and divorces ; and this 
locality is therefore convenient for rakes, who wish to 
enjoy a rapid succession of wives. This ought not 
to surprise the reader. In the Sikket-el-Tableyta lived 
a man, called Said Mohammed- el-Mawardy, who had 
married one hundred and fifty wives. "When any one 
of them was obstinate and would not be divorced again, 
he used to put her into a room with a great number 
of cats, which usually frightened her into consenting to a 
divorce. This man was, however, surpassed in uxori- 
ousness by Ahmed Pasha Tahir, one of the wealthiest 
men in Egypt, and who had a noble palace not very far 
from this quarter, which Franks may remember from its 
beautiful portal in white marble, adorned by the tortuous 


folds of snakes. Ahmed often married a fresh wife after 
the interval of a week, but his divorces were always 
effected with handsome compensations to the discarded 

Musicians are the chief levers of amusement at these 
jovial marriages of the Castle of Dogs, and I caused one 
of the most celebrated violin players to be brought to my 
house by the invaluable Sheikh Ahmed. As they 
entered, Sheikh Ahmed, to show his zeal, said, "Here 
is the prince of the fiddlers, whom I have brought hither 
by the beard for you. Ask ! ask ! ask ! " The violin 
player was a stout well-dressed man with a white turban 
and chequered red and brown robe. He said they 
learned only by ear, but had names for the octave 
doka, siky, girky, nua, husseini, oraa, kirden. The 
octave is mohair, which is called the jewab, or answer to 
doka. The different musical instruments have been fully 
described by Mr. Lane, and in the French " Description 
d'Egypte, 5 ' is a very able treatise on Arab music. This 
man told me that the average gain for a party of six 
musicians was from a hundred and fifty to three hundred 
piastres per night, or from thirty shillings to three pounds 
sterling (the pound sterling being then about one hundred 
Egyptian piastres). 

One must be a helluo musical to enjoy Arab music, 
but the European ear soon gets accustomed to it. The 
range of musical ideas is very limited, but it is a pleasing 
dreamy accompaniment to the reveries of the brain, and 
the enthusiastic musician finds it interesting to trace the 
relations of those chromatic inflexions to the music of 
Europe of various schools. As I have elsewhere had 
occasion to say, the music of Lully, when heard, strikes 

In the great plague of 1835, above fifty persons of his household died from 
plague, and this was attributed by the Frank physicians, justly or not I cannot say, 
to his not keeping quarantine. 


at once upon the ear as Arabic in character, derived 
through the Spanish court of Naples from Spain (for the 
root of all Spanish music is Arabic). It is curious too to 
watch how music of the Arabic character has been 
idealized and beautified by the genius of the great 
European composers, while still preserving the distinct 
moods of Hispano-Arab melody. The most striking 
examples of this are in Weber's overture to " Preciosa ;'' 
the " Idole de ma vie" in Meyerber's " Eobert le 
Diable;'' the Neapolitan dance music in Auber's "La 
Muette ;" several airs in Auber's " L'Enfant Prodigue ;" 
the great work of Felician David, and Conrad in 
Kreuzer's " Nachtlager." As an instance of failure to 
produce beauty, and as an illustration of the absence of 
the Arabic vein, we may adduce the eccentric " Turkish 
march'' of Beethoven, in spite of his indisputably 
occupying a place in musical invention certainly inferior 
to none who can be named. The Neapolitans did not 
derive the Arabic character of their popular music solely 
through importation from Spain ; for we must remember 
that Sicily was a Moslem and Arabic country for a very 
long period. It is curious to note how tides of civiliza- 
tion turn. We have been describing the violent efforts 
of a Turk to fit Egypt with European forms of every 
description; and a few centuries back, the aspect of 
Yenice was entirely Saracenic; the commercial terms 
were derived from the Arabic language, and even in 
music the Arabic form had found general acceptance. 

The chief of the jugglers, Sheikh Ali-el-Caudeel, was 
also brought to me by Sheikh Ahmed. He told me 
that he was the commander of the Awlad-el-Fen, or men 
of ingenuity or dexterity. In Syria, Arabia, and the 
Upper Nile, they are called Skelolo. He informed me 
that there were three or four persons in Cairo who had 
the real science of divination according to the secret 


orthodox rules, but that all the rest were impostors. 
He styled the fortune-tellers Toraky. All these " sons of 
dexterity," as they were called, pay ferdeh, or capitation 
tax, this sheikh aiding in the classification. He took up 
a clothes brush and asked if it was of hog's hair. I said 
"Yes," and asked him why he handled it. He said, 
" It was dry." Conversing on the subject, he told me 
that a dog's mouth is unclean in the sects of Hawifeh and 
Maleky, but not its body. In the sect of Shafei, as also 
in the sect of Hanbale, it is all unclean. There are 
seven so-called vain arts, fonoun-el-battal : 1st. The 
jugglers already named, who are sometimes also called 
Hawi. 2nd. The violin scrapers at cafes, so that music 
is certainly not noble in the East. 3rd. The reciters. 
4th. Medaheen those who beat instruments and sing 
rhapsodies at birthday festivals. 6th. Mohabaseen, or 
jackpuddings. 6th. Ghisawaty (not Ghwazee), a sort of 
harlequin. 7th. Migalateey, or jokers in words. "Not 
practical jokers, like the merry-andrews," said Sheikh 
Ali to me. 

Then come active arts (Tuabak-el-Amaly), such as 
quarter staff, sword and target, and an art called feu-el- 
elay, wa-el-sera, a species of wrestling or savate. As 
for the redoubtable feu-el-sinnia, or incantation on the 
grand scale through the agency of afreets, Sheikh Ali 
declared positively that it was to be classed among the 
extinct arts, although there was no doubt that this art 
did exist. According to this luminary, another of the 
extinct operations of magic was that of changing 
the sexes. 

A large proportion of the domestic servants of the 
Franks, as well as of a multitude of Moslem families, 
are Nubians belonging to the Berber or Barabrah race, 
who stretch from the Ked Sea almost to the Atlantic, 
having been driven southwards from the coasts of the 


Mediterranean by the Arabic immigrants into what was 
once Numidia ; and hence the name Barbary coast applied 
to the ancient seat of this north African race, now squeezed 
up between the Arab of the sea-board, and the negro of 
the interior. 

The Berbers of Cairo are a copper coloured race, with 
Caucasian, not negro, features ; a dependent and not 
an independent race, plastic, not indurated by martial 
vigour and thirst for domination a conquered, not a 
conquering race ; apt for service, not for mastery ; flying 
from the conquering immigrant, and returning to his 
feet to sue for service, which may gratify the love of 
ease and gain. The Berber possesses in an eminent 
degree the qualities that fit him for domestic employ- 
ment ; he is honest, saving and economical both of his 
master's goods and of his own purse. He is quite 
adequate to the various duties of domestic service, and 
has much observation within a limited sphere, but he 
has no ideal. He cannot create, or rise by his creations 
in the arts of peace and war : hence he has no ambition 
that gives umbrage. He is a machine man, and his 
nationality is not aggressive, but strictly defensive ; for 
the Berber loves the Berber. They herd together, and 
although they are Moslems in religion, carry out the 
principle of fraternity in a manner that might shame 
Christians. When a young Berber comes fresh from 
Nubia, one after another entertains him until he gets 
comfortably settled. It does not signify if he landed at 
Boulak without a fuddah in his pocket, for he will be 
supported even if they have to sell their turbans. 

They are both honest and despised rather a curious 
conjunction, or rather the moral qualities are not suf- 
ficient to efface the slight esteem in which the nation is 
held. Hence a pleasant story of an Egyptian who re- 
proached a Nubian with the lowness of his race : " For," 


said he, "there is not a bey or alim of your nation in all 
Cairo." " That may be," said the Nubian, " but you 
cannot find in all Cairo a Barabrah with his hand cut 
off'' (i.e. a convicted thief). There are also some few de- 
scendants of Kashefs, who fled from Cairo and took refuge 
in Nubia on the approach of the French, and who are 
in dialect and other particulars assimilated to the Nu- 
bians. Hence they give themselves the title of " Sons 
of Kashefs," mispronounced according to the Nubian 
dialect " Ebn Kafesh.' 5 They consider themselves noble, 
and will not act as domestic servants, but engage them- 
selves as assistant brewers of beer. The Barabrah pro- 
nunciation of Arabic is peculiar : the hard aspirates are 
pronounced soft, and all the k's (Arabic kafs) are pro- 
nounced as if they were g's ; for instance, kalah (castle) 
is in the mouth of a Nubian, gaelah. In conclusion, the 
Nubians have a riwack, or division in the mosque of El 
Azhar, and are devoted Moslems. 

There is a large black slave population in Cairo, in 
domestic service, who are so well treated that they view 
with horror leaving the family they serve. There is an 
Arabic proverb which does not give a very favourable idea 
of the negro character at least of those negroes who come 
to Egypt, for in so vast a continent as that of Africa 
there must be numerous gradations of character : it is 
"that the negro, if in misery, sneaks away from his 
fellow men ; if well fed and prosperous, he is cruel," 

En ja'a harab ; Hungry, he flies ; 

En shiba a katil. Satisfied, lie kills. 

" This is the reverse of the lower animals," said a 
bagdadli to me ;" for if a wolf is full of food, he flies 
away ; if hungry, he kills.'' There are, comparatively 
speaking, few eunuchs in Cairo. Belonging only to the 
rich, and having no passions, no family ties, they are in 


the familiar confidence of the great. Hence they treat 
all other servants with great hauteur. The proper 
Arabic name for eunuch is " toashy," but they would be 
very angry if called "toashy," and style themselves 




IN the course of the summer of 1845 the health 
of Ibrahim Pasha failed him, from the combined effects 
of excesses in strong liquors and the severe heat of the 
climate. In Syria, where the climate is much cooler, 
and where he had great corporeal activity in the regions 
of the Taurus and the Orontes (for his head quarters were 
usually at Antioch), these excesses were not so injurious ; 
but in Egypt, where inaction is in a great measure com- 
pulsory during the long summer, the health is under- 
mined, if great abstemiousness be not observed. In the 
end of August Ibrahim disembarked at Leghorn, and 
after spending September and October in Italy princi- 
pally at the baths of Lucca he proceeded, in November, 
his health having been partially restored, to Toulon and 
Marseilles. At Toulon, fetes of every description were 
offered to him by the naval and military authorities ; 
but, amid the decorations and epaulettes of a naval 
arsenal, he maintained the requisite gravity and de- 
corum of an ex-commander of a large army. At 
Marseilles, however, he found himself in a congenial 
element among the relations and correspondents of the 
leading Erench houses in Alexandria ; and he threw off 
restraint and surrendered himself like a youngster to the 


dissipations of the place. Some of the addresses pre- 
sented to him during this trip were so fulsome that the 
Pasha could not help laughing heartily in the faces of 
the deputations ; and when the parties who offered their 
homage asked, in disappointment, what the hilarity meant, 
the interpreter answered, with the voluble plausibility of 
this class of men, "that His Highness expressed his 

The personal appearance of Ibrahim Pasha was 
graphically described in many journals. He seemed 
to the Marseillese to be of middle stature, inclining to 
stoutness, having the fair complexion of a Turk, not 
the bronze brow of an Egyptian. His beard was silver 
white, his look piercing and intelligent, his smile 
coming rapidly and going as rapidly; in his general 
appearance there was an absence of all nobleness and 
distinction. It is not surprising that, coming from 
Alexandria and Cairo, where he had mingled with a 
European community that had accommodated itself to 
oriental habits, he should ask for cigars, and that, in the 
midst of a ball at which the elite of Marseilles were 
present, he should have puffed forth volumes of smoke 
amid the polite titter and curiosity of the fair sex. 
Although he knew the theory of European manners, yet 
he looked upon Marseilles as a sort of European extension 
of Alexandria. In the beginning of December he went 
to the baths of Yernet, where he found a triumphal arch 
inscribed, " To the conqueror of Koniah and of Nezib.'' 

After visiting Bordeaux, Ibrahim Pasha proceeded to 
Paris, being everywhere feted by the authorities ; and, 
arriving at length in the metropolis, he lodged in the 
apartments of the Elysee Bourbon. He was presented to 
Louis Philippe by the Turkish ambassador, and in the 
evening dined with the royal party, being seated on the 
left of the king ; the circle, as a matter of course, 


including Mons. Guizot, the Minister for Foreign Affairs. 
On the following days he was shown the sights of Paris ; 
and, at, the " Invalides," the veterans stood in order to 
receive him, headed by the Duke of Eeggio. Ibrahim 
said on this occasion, " The honour done me is more than 
I deserve. I wished simply to visit the old soldiers ; I 
came here not to receive honours, but to pay a compli- 
ment to them." Among other sights he was much 
pleased with Horace Yernet's striking representations of 
the military scenes of modern France ; but when shown 
the celebrated picture of the Massacre of the Mamelukes, 
he turned away at the first convenient opportunity from 
that disagreeable chapter in the history of Mohammed 
Ali, with the remark "that it bore no resemblance to 
reality." As a matter of course, large reviews were not 
omitted in the compliments offered him ; and these he 
attended in full uniform, riding on an Arab charger from 
the royal stables. After the poignant disappointment 
and exasperation which the failure of Mons. Thiers' policy 
had produced in the minds of the French nation, Ibra- 
him Pasha came in for a full share of the sympathy with 
which a staunch but luckless ally is usually regarded 
under such circumstances; and in fact nothing was 
omitted by the French government which could possibly 
flatter his vanity. 

In England he had equal success as a "lion," to 
use an expression now incorporated into the language. 
A sincere wish on the part of the government to forget 
the irritation that had been produced by the obstinacy of 
Mohammed Ali during the Egyptian crisis, and at the 
same time frankly to acknowledge the facilities which 
the Egyptian government had afforded for the overland 
transit, joined to a disposition to put in good humour 
the supposed future ruler of Egypt, a natural curiosity 
on the part of the general public, and the recollection 


which a multitude of eminent individuals in England 
retained of the hospitalities they had received from the 
Egyptian government, when in Egypt and Syria, all 
conspired to procure for Ibrahim a reception which would 
have filled with surprise those who lived in the time of 
the Greek war, when his name was the bugbear of 
Christian Europe. At a banquet given to him at the 
Eeform Club, at which Viscount Palmerston and Sir 
Charles Napier were the principal speakers, all political 
differences were forgotten in the complimentary toasts 
and speeches of the occasion. A British steam frigate 
conveyed Ibrahim Pasha, in July, to Lisbon, and thence 
to Egypt, where he landed with his health apparently 

Mohammed Ali was absent from Egypt when Ibrahim 
Pasha returned, having received an invitation from Con- 
stantinople to pay his homage to the Sultan. The Pasha 
took a large sum with him, arrived at Constantinople on 
the 19th of July, 1846, and was lodged in Eiza Pasha's 
villa of Ortakioi. On being presented to the Sultan in full 
Grand Vizier's uniform, he desired to fall down and kiss 
his master's feet, but he was raised up and seated. After 
this comedy the interview lasted an hour. He also 
visited in a spirit of reconciliation his old enemy Khosreff 
Pasha, after nearly a century of plots and counterplots. 
The reader would be rather fatigued than amused with 
the details of such festivals as were offered to the Pasha 
of Egypt, who had not come empty-handed. He knew 
the foibles of the metropolis, and took care to make 
himself a welcome guest. His prodigal expenditure did 
not confine itself to presents to the imperial family and 
the great men of the State, but comprised the project of 
erecting in a prominent position on the Eosphorus an 
additional palace for the Sultan, a design which, con- 
sidering the abundance of imperial lodgings, from the 


gorgeous seraglio to the fancy kiosk on this glorious 
strait, was something like adding a fifth wheel to a 

On the 17th of August Mohammed AH sailed to 
Cavala, his birth-place, in which town are benevolent 
establishments endowed by his liberality. Alexandria 
was illuminated on his return ; and, overjoyed with his 
reception in the metropolis, he received the visits and 
congratulations of his friends, wearing the portrait of 
the Sultan, adorned with brilliants, on his breast. 

For some time back a project had been pressed on the 
Pasha which appeared to him to be likely to cause a 
large accession of revenue to Egypt : this was the dam- 
ming of the Kile, called by the French engineers " Le 
barrage du Nil." In order to explain this project, we 
must remind the reader that the volume of the Nile 
during the dry season is not above the thirty-second part 
of what it is during the inundation, when it seems to 
make lakes in all parts of its course, and when the 
thirsty land is abundantly saturated with the floods from 
Abyssinia, holding in solution a large proportion of 
virgin alluvial soil, the finest of all natural manures. 
But if such are the facilities for preparing cultivation at 
one season of the year, there is the opposite period in 
the spring of the year, when the Nile is at the lowest ; 
and, as rain is exceedingly deficient, except during the 
winter, and even then rarely extends much inwards, the 
design of the Nile-bar was to force the limited volume of 
the river into three arterial canals, so as to create an 
artificial inundation in all Lower Egypt, and thus utilize 
the water which would otherwise flow waste into the sea 
by the Eosetta and Damietta branches of the Nile. The 
engineer of this work was M. Mongol, a gentleman who 
has attained a high and merited reputation both in 
France and Egypt, although his views in reference to 


the Suez canal have been entirely disapproved by the 
most eminent practical British engineers. 

On the 9th of April, 1847, the foundations of the 
barrage were laid by Mohammed AH, in presence of the 
principal civil and military functionaries of Egypt and 
the foreign agents, A parchment roll, describing the 
ceremonies and written on in gold, was sealed by the 
Pasha, signed by those present, and then deposited, along 
with specimens of all the coins of the Egyptian mint 
in Mohammed Ali's time, within the foundation stone. 
The old man laid the stone, using, as is customary, a 
silver mallet and golden trowel ; and sumptuous repasts 
and night illuminations on the banks of the Nile took 
place on the occasion. 

The execution, or even the commencement, of the glit- 
tering project of the Suez canal does not fall within the 
period of the life of Mohammed Ali ; but in succeeding 
years commissions of European engineers had every 
facility for a preliminary survey. It would be pre- 
sumptuous for a mere political and historical writer to 
present any opinion on this great question. Suffice it 
to say, that the sure and practised eye of a Stephenson 
saw no estimable limit to the sums that might be en- 
gulfed in such an undertaking, even supposing it 
practicable, the artificial harbour at Pelusium alone 
requiring an expenditure beyond the French estimate of 
the cost of constructing the whole canal. 

Towards the end of 1847, clear indications showed 
themselves that the hitherto vigorous physical constitu- 
tions of Mohammed Ali and Ibrahim Pasha were giving 
way. Ibrahim Pasha, although by no means a very old 
man, not yet having attained his sixtieth year, was 
attacked by general constitutional decay, and spent the 
winter in Tuscany. In February, 1848, Mohammed 
Ali's intestinal functions became deranged, which much 


affected his mind ; and the news of the troubles in 
Europe, carrying with it the moral of 'the insecurity of 
all dynasties, so operated on his spirits as to react on the 
malady during his residence in Malta from *the end of 
February to the beginning of April, 1848, when he 
returned to Egypt more weakened in intellect 'than when 
he departed. In June, 1848, the dotage had so in- 
creased that Ibrahim Pasha became virtual ruler of 
Egypt, notwithstanding the feeble state of his health. 

In August, Ibrahim Pasha proceeded to Constanti- 
nople, and in the beginning of September was installed 
in the Pashalic of Egypt, the Sultan decorating him in 
person. Public opinion, however, paid no respect to his 
bodily sufferings, and the new ruler was unpopular. 
Not only was Ibrahim Pasha more feared, and less liked 
personally, than Mohammed Ali, whose disposition was 
generous, and whose manners were conciliatory ; but he 
had not a single sincere friend. In the prime of his 
career, his influence was sustained by the terror which a 
knowledge of the severity of his character excited; -and 
during the peace that succeeded the termination vof the 
Syrian war, his large income and prospective succession 
to the Pashalic caused him to be sought after by 
schemers, dependants, and flatterers, though often with 
slender success ; his sagacity, avarice, and comparative 
indifference as to the light in which he stood before 
Europeans, rendering his system a contrast to that of 
Mohammed Ali. He had just as few Moslem prejudices 
as the old Pasha, but he was a cold, hard-hearted man, 
and had bursts of passion and periods of sullen temper 
which repelled all sympathy. 

The arrears of taxes due by his brother Said and his 
nephew Abbas, were sharply exacted, to their great dis- 
pleasure ; for the finances of Egypt were again in a 
wretched condition, owing to profuse expenditure, which 

VOL. ii. 20 


Ibrahim promised to check, and which intention he no 
doubt would have carried out had he lived. But his 
web was spun out, and on the 10th of November, 1848, 
at one in the morning, he departed this life, in his 60th 
year ; his immediate disease being consumption, accom- 
panied by spitting of blood and neuralgic pains which 
ceased four days before his death, and were succeeded by 
general prostration of the faculties. Eleven hours after 
death, he was buried in the family mausoleum at Iman 
Shafei, on the south of Cairo, under mount Mokattam. 

Abbas Pasha was then absent on a pilgrimage to 
Mecca, not unwilling to get out of the way of his un- 
sympathetic uncle ; and, on Ibrahim's death taking place, 
a council was held at which it was agreed to solicit his 
immediate return to Egypt. On the 24th of December, 
Abbas Pasha arrived in Cairo, and was warmly welcomed 
as a returning pilgrim, as a decided Moslem, untinged 
by Frank prejudices, and individually popular among 
the Moslems, both Turk and Arab. Abbas being now 
the eldest of the family, the investiture of the Porte took 
place without difficulty. 

Like the lamp whose oil and wick are both burnt out, 
Mohammed Ali, effete in mind and body, at length died 
at Alexandria on the 2nd of August, 1849. At any 
other period this would have been an event of import- 
ance ; but for some time previously he had been morally 
dead, and, in fact, his real action on the political stage 
terminated with the year 1840. Other and graver 
matters now occupied public attention in Europe. The 
tremendous collapse of the monarchy of July, an event 
as sudden as it was unexpected ; the return of a Bona- 
parte to the supreme power in France, an event equally 
unexpected, but not so sudden ; and the revolutionary 
incidents in Italy, Germany, and on the Danube, had 
conspired to thrust the affairs of Egypt into the back- 


ground. On the intelligence of the death of Napoleon 
Bonaparte at St. Helena, some one said to Talleyrand, 
" That is an event." " No," said the acute ex-minister, 
"it is not an event: it is merely a piece of news." So 
it was with the intelligence of the death of Mohammed 
Ali, which being simultaneous with the conclusion of 
the Russian campaign in Hungary, passed unnoticed in 
Europe, more especially as it had been preceded by a 
second childhood of nearly two years' duration. 

On the 3rd of August, as the sun rose behind the 
barren tawny beach that leads to Aboukir, the consuls- 
general and leading functionaries of Egypt assembled at 
the palace of the promontory of Figs. In the midst of 
the Hall of Audience a cashmere shawl covered the 
coffin that contained the remains of this remarkable man. 
His sabre and a Koran lay on the breast, and at the head 
was deposited the red Tunisian woollen cap worn by the 
deceased. Censers shed perfumes around the bier, and 
twenty-two of the ulema, wearing white turbans, read ap- 
propriate extracts from the Koran with the accustomed 
chanting intonation. The scene was unanimously described 
as having been affecting, and forming a contrast to the 
frigidity with which Ibrahim Pasha had been consigned 
to the tomb ; for Mohammed Ali, with all his faults, had 
made devoted friends, and more than one of the Euro- 
peans who had known him intimately for forty years 
shed tears at the sight of the coffin of a man who had 
surpassed all the Moslems in tolerance, and who was 
noble and generous to his friends and dependants. 

Said Pasha, the son of the deceased, was to use a 
European expression the chief mourner ; and, on his 
arrival, the procession composed of the functionaries, 
the ulema, the European community, camels loaded with 
provisions for the poor, and attendants who sprinkled 
perfumed water on the people set out on its way to the 


place of sepulture, while from the windows of the harem 
came the loud wails of the women who had formed his 
family and household. 

The body was taken to Cairo by Said Pasha, and 
Mohammed Ali now reposes in the castle of Saladin, 
within the walls of the alabaster columned mosque, 
which he himself constructed in the noblest and most 
prominent position of the Egyptian metropolis. 




IT is in the khans and bazaars, scattered all over the 
metropolis, that we find the middle classes of the true 
Caireen type ; and to this portion of the population, in 
the later years' of Mohammed Ali's rule, I shall now 
denote a brief additional chapter. 

The Seba Kaat, is the quarter in which the principal 
khans of Cairo are situated, and in which wealthy Mo- 
grebbins reside. In the so-called Seven Saloons, are the 
warehouses of the principal wholesale dealers. The 
interiors are picturesque, and one sees, piled pell mell, 
the coffee bags of Mocha, the cotton bales of Manchester, 
and the carpets of Persia. These khans are generally 
court-yards, with wooden galleries running round them, 
and droll looking verandahs to protect the sunny side 
from the heats of July and August. They are all 
built with great solidity, and some are of great elegance. 
The immense portal of the Khan-el-Turcomany is one of 
the most splendid specimens of Saracenic architecture 
in Cairo ; but being sequestered among narrow out of 
the way streets, it is not surprising that it should have 
escaped the attention of tourists and bookmakers. The 
structures of beautiful and solid masonry in Cairo seem 


really endless, but the school is extinct, and in the 
new houses built for the natives (I do not mean the 
palaces for the higher Turks) one observes a bastard 
Turco-Greek style, marked by particular baldness and 

There is a great inequality in the means of the mer- 
chants, and it may readily be seen how position modifies 
manners. Those who possess ample capital, and whose 
ancestors have held a good position, are distinguished 
by great courtesy and dignity, and their affairs have 
nothing of the hurry-scurry and bustle of Frank busi- 
ness. Their transactions more resemble a series of 
polite morning calls, coffee, pipes, and complimentary 
expressions preceding all business. But with all these 
fair external forms, the amount of business actually done 
is small, compared with that of the corresponding classes 
in Europe; and gross frauds, such as would cover a 
British merchant with indelible disgrace, and in many 
cases bring him within the pale of the criminal law, are 
here but little thought of. I once heard a curious 
expression used in a discussion between two merchants, 
one of whom seemed to have no faith in the assurance 
of the other, who answered, " Are you a Frank ? I swear 
to you by our Lord, and you do not believe me." 

Near Hosh Bardak, is the Wekelet-el-Furrayn, or 
furriers' bazaar. One would suppose that in the climate 
of Egypt furs were not necessary, and in fact they are 
not; but during the forty cold days in the middle of 
winter (for of frost there is no question) furs are worn 
by orientals of sedentary habits without inconvenience. 
There can be no doubt, however, that this is a Turkish 
and not an Egyptian custom. In Damascus, where there 
is frost almost every winter, furs are worn by all the 
wealthier effendis ; but in Egypt the practice seems 
rather to have been confined to those high official 


functionaries who in the Ottoman Empire wore furs as 
a mark of distinction. Sultans, pashas, and ulema 
wore fur pelisses of great value, and of most picturesque 
cut and disposition, the collar and ledge being of sable 
and ermine, which, in combination with the ample folds 
of the white or cream coloured silk turban, gave great 
dignity to the appearance. The human body seems to 
be seen to most advantage, either partially covered so as 
to leave the limbs free and the proportions of the frame 
distinctly pronounced, as in the Greek sculptures; or 
in those voluminous oriental furred robes, which to a 
great extent suppress the true outline of the frame and 
concentrate on the head the attention of the spectator. 
The modern European dress disguises the real propor- 
tions of the frame, but it is certainly convenient in 
temperate climates, and allows to the body an activity 
which is impossible in those gorgeous but cumbrous 
robes, which, however picturesque, are suited only to 
classes who are sedentary in their occupations and in- 
active in their habits. 

At the gold and silversmiths' bazaar might be seen 
artificers with their little pots of fire making some 
artistic object or ornament for women. Here, rose 
diamonds, and diamonds of small size, bring a higher 
price than in England or in Erance ; but when diamonds 
of a very high class come to market in Egypt they do 
not fetch the European price. In Egypt the ornaments 
of women are a sort of investment which creditors may 
not touch and which a family can always fall back upon. 
There is in this bazaar a great sale for blood-stones to 
be worn in rings, being supposed to be an antidote to 
hemorrhoidal complaints. At the silversmith's may be 
seen articles of oriental family plate : narghileh-heads in 
the form of flowers, censers for perfumes, salvers and 
basins for preserves, sprinklers for rose-water, semi- 


globular drinking cups with inscriptions from the Koran, 
and small writing cases for reeds, sponge, and ink. 

Wekelet Abou Zeit is the bazaar for perfumers 7 spice 
and drugs. I asked for some tea, but could find it only 
at one shop, and the entire stock was contained in a 
paper-bag. When I asked, "Who purchased tea?" the 
shopkeeper answered; " Generally Mogrebbins, coming 
from Mecca, who have exhausted the stock brought with 
them from Morocco." Khans and wekelets are both 
places of sale and places for the reception of travellers 
who bring their own bedding, and who can be supplied 
with coffee and cooked provisions from the bazaar-shops 
in the immediate neighbourhood. Each locality has its 
distinct set of customers. For instance, the people of 
Tantah in the Delta mostly alight at the Wekelet-el- 
Eokn, which was formerly the great place for shoe- 
making, but has ceased to be so. The people of Yemen 
and Hadramaut usually alight at the Wekelet-zul-Fighar ; 
the people from the Hedjas at the Wekelet Morgian ; 
and Syrians at the Wekelet Djedeed. The Wekelet 
Saboon, or khan of soap, is much frequented by 
Syrians, and here may be heard much news from that 

For retail trade the most animated part of Cairo con- 
tinued to be the great line of bazaars from the gate of 
Zueileh to the gates of Succour and Victory. Let us 
therefore- make an imaginary promenade between these 
two points, noting what most worthy of atten- 
tion. We first come to the bazaar of Moeyed, which is 
called the Sukareey, from the numerous grocers' shops 
with pyramids of dates and other dried fruits. Many 
stolen goods are sold here by the auctioneer brokers 
whom we may call hawking agents ; and^ in consequence 
of the number of travellers, purchasers are quickly 
found. I have elsewhere described the movement in 


this remarkable thoroughfare, and the following para- 
graph from "Melusina" is, with the omission of matters 
relating to that tale, perfectly applicable to the object of 
this chapter. 

" On the left of the crowded bazaar El Moeyed rise 
the tall walls of the mosque of that name, which is 
joined to the Bab Zueileh, the Temple Bar of Cairo's 
Strand and Fleet-street, an enormous gateway, flanked 
by two sturdy towers, such as the luxuriant imagination 
of a scene-painter would give to the castle of a giant in an 
Eastern pantomime : while, above the iron-ribbed and iron- 
bolted gate, twin minarets " fine by degrees and beauti- 
. fully less," shoot up into the blue sky. Here is the greatest 
thoroughfare here are the best furnished shops here 
are many of the noblest architectural monuments here 
is seen the oriental and Arab type of Cairo here is the 
greatest artery of metropolitan life : it is the quarter 
neither of the poor, nor of the rich exclusively ; nor of 
the townsman, nor of the stranger, but the quintessence 
of all. 'Dahrak, mind your back !' Here comes a 
loaded donkey, pinning the passenger as effectually to 
the wall in the crowded passage as the l gare ' of the 
French coachman in the days of Mercier's inimitable 
picture of Paris. The pipe-cleaner with his implements 
goes about soliciting employment. The sherbet-man, 
with tinkling cup, appeals to the thirsty passenger the 
Moslem townsman, decently dressed in white or yellow 
turban, long cloth robe slow, stately, and sleepy, caring 
little for wealth, or power, provided he be kept well- 
dressed, with little to do, and as little in the sun as 
possible. There, too, may be seen the Coptic clerk, with 
black turban and inkstand in his girdle ; and the fakeer, or 
pauper, with a single blue shirt and cotton cap, without 
a turban. And then what a hubbub ahead, while the 
crowded retinue of a bey clears the way for a great man 


mounted on a foaming barb in all the splendour of ca- 

The oldest of the bazaars of Cairo is further on that 
of the Shouaeen, which means " of provision dealers;" 
but no provisions are visible, all the shops being those 
of mercers. Grey domestics and the printed calicos of 
Manchester and Glasgow are now sold in the same 
locality where, in the time of the Fatimite Caliphs, the 
kebab was roasted and lentiles and rice were cooked. 
At the bazaar of Sultan-el-Ghoury, we seem to enter a 
magnificent Gothic cathedral, an effect which is produced 
by a mosque on one side of the street, and a tomb of 
colossal proportions on the other ; while, notwithstanding 
the breadth which separates them, the street is here 
roofed in by great rafters which stretch from cornice to 
cornice. The dimly lighted, pure, and beautiful Sara- 
cenic architecture of the beginning of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, with the brilliant colours of the dresses of the 
throngs within, produce an effect like that of a grand 
picture of the Venetian school ; while a golden ray of 
sunshine shooting through a crevice in the roof bisects 
the limpid gloom with its bright and well defined radi- 

Eents of shops are higher here than in any other part 
of Cairo, owing to the central situation ; and further on 
is the Khan-el-Halily, where street sales by auction of 
praying carpets, pistols, poniards, silk turbans, and girdles 
lend their interest to the locality. Halil is the Arabic 
word for Hebron; and this khan was built by a native 
of that town, called Abd-el-Ma'aty, rikabdar, or equerry 
of Saladin. The tombs of the Fatimite Caliphs were 
here, but owing to the enmity entertained by Saladiu's 
party towards that of the Fouatem, or Fatimites, these 
tombs were pulled down, and the khan built. Halil 
was killed at Damascus, and his carcase being left ex- 


posed, and not receiving the honours of sepulture, it was 
said that this was a judgment on him for scattering the 
bones of the Fatimite Caliphs. 

Further on, a gorgeous confusion of towers, minarets, 
and lofty walls are visible in the contiguous mosques of 
Kalaon, Mohammed-el-Nasr, and Barkouk. The whole 
of this portion of the high street of Cairo is called to this 
day the Bayn-el-Kasrayn, or place " between the two 
palaces." Makrizi declares this to have been the most 
populous and delightful quarter of Cairo in his time, 
being the locality of festivals and the exercises of the 
troops ; and here for many a long day, after the eleva- 
tion of Saladin to power, was the scene of tilt and tour- 
nament, as gay and splendid as that which an Ivanhoe 
may have seen at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, as far as horse and 
foot, knight and squire, could make them, but in which 
no Eastern Eowena could award a palm of victory. 
These were the days of the pride of the Moslems, when 
a sliding scale was applied to even the reception of the 
Byzantine ambassadors ; for if the antipathy was stronger 
than usual, they had to walk uncovered from the gate of 
victory to one of the palaces. A Nilometer also existed 
in this busy quarter during the earlier centuries of 
Cairo's existence. This is well authenticated by several 
authors, but after a careful search I could find no trace 
of it. The process of inquiry, however, made me ac- 
quainted with the existence of a magnificent old Sara- 
cenic house, now tumbling into ruin, and inhabited by 
poor persons, but which present such remains of its 
magnificence that, at the period of the Mameluke 
Sultans, I judge it must have been one of the most 
luxurious abodes in Cairo. It is called Kasr-el-Bedowee, 
or palace of the Bedouin, and no doubt was the residence 
of one of the wealthiest beys or emirs of some bygone 


The fountain of Abderrahman Kiahia marks the 
separation of the line of bazaars into two branches, one 
leading to the gate of Succour, and the other to the gate 
of Victory. Although this was once the court end of 
the town, it has now little of the bustle and wealth that 
it had at the time of the Fatimite Caliphs ; but the large 
poor population and the numerous provision-shops and 
khans for the sale of rural productions, give an anima- 
tion of a humble but not uninteresting character to this 
part of the town. The decadent Place Eoyale of the 
days of Henri Quatre, and the halles near the Eue de 
la Terrene and the Eue des Lombards flash upon the 
European traveller who rambles through this part of the 
town, as a sort of distant resemblance. The palaces of 
the Fatimites have disappeared as completely as the 
Palais des Tournelles ; but many a house, by the relics 
of its ornaments many a Cairo Hotel de Senlis still 
exists, to tell an obscure mysterious tale of better days. 
A strong odour of garlic is wafted from an archway, and, 
without being informed through the ears, the olfactory 
nerves at once announce that this is the famed Wekelet- 
el-T6m, or garlic market; while a fragrant odour from 
another large khan close by comes from the lemon and 
orange store. 

Close to the gates of Succour and Victory is the slave 
market for blacks, called Wekelet-el-Jelabah Gelab, 
meaning literally "a bringer," or slave merchant. A 
square court was surrounded with black boys and girls, 
thoughtlessly laughing and singing, and waiting to be 
sold. They are not used for agricultural labour, but for 
the domestic service of the wealthier classes. One can- 
not think without horror of the violent separation of 
these creatures from their parents. But in reality the 
condition of those who come to Egypt is better than 
those who remain amid the sanguinary barbarism of the 


interior. Darfour is the point whither most of the slave 
convoys of the interior are made to converge, from which 
point to Upper Egypt they are brought by the ordinary 
caravans. I noticed the mats to be of a very different 
sort from those of Cairo, and one of the " bringers" said 
that they came from Darfour. 

Close to the mosque of Hakem is the hemp-eater's 
coffee-house, called Kahwet-el-Hashasheen, which is fre- 
quented by those who indulge in the abominable narcotic 
called hasheesh. Of these coffee houses there are five in 
Cairo and its environs, and two in Boulak. But at least 
twenty per cent, of the male population eat hasheesh in 
private, and there were no less than thirty-five retailers 
of lozenges of hasheesh. It is divided into three kinds, 
the dawa misk, which produces simple gaiety the 
geraweesh, which gives virile power and the Hindy, or 
Indian, which throws people into ecstasy. 

The Wekelet Kamh, or corn bazaar, near to Bab- 
Foutouh, is one of the busiest and most characteristic 
scenes in Cairo. There being little or no rain here, the 
corn is all piled up in the open air. A crowd of millers, 
fellaheen, bakers, and other townspeople, thronged the 
passages so closely, and spoke so loud, that the corn 
sellers were obliged to announce the quality of their corn 
by bawling out, On examining the sorts on sale, that of 
Upper Egypt seemed the best. Each seller comes for- 
ward shaking the corn in his hand, each sort having its 
name. Menoufieh from Menouf, Kelioubieh from Ke- 
lioub. " Shereefey ! Shereefey !" cried one, to denote 
that the grain belonged to the Shereef of Mecca, to 
whom the Pasha of Egypt had presented 1000 feddans 
of land. This corn, owing to the semi-religious cha- 
racter of the shereef, always gets a good price. The 
Indian corn in the adjoining market was mostly ground 
into flour. 


Having now terminated our imaginary promenade in 
the town, and arrived at the northern gates of the city, 
we find outside the walls a considerable industrious popu- 
lation, occupying the suburbs to the north and north- 
east. In the so-called Hassaneey reside the butchers of 
Cairo, who never wear cloth, but cotton and serge, even 
in winter. They are a race powerful in body, as well as 
resolute in will ; and at the great revolt of Cairo against 
the French were the most active amongst the insurgents, 
in consequence of which their quarter suffered severely. 
To this day, on walking through it, one is struck with 
the number of ruined edifices dating from that time. 
A Turkish mosque and convent, that of the Bayoumi, is 
conspicuous in this quarter, the inmates of which, ac- 
cording to the rules of their order, wear their hair long. 
Close at hand is the so-called Sook-el-Belah, or date 
bazaar, in which this fruit, or rather food, is sold whole- 
sale. But there is a superior description, the long red 
dates of Breem, in Nubia, which are sold wholesale in 
Boulak in the so-called Wekelet-el-Breemy. There are 
also some manufactures in the quarter ; for instance, in 
the Derb-el-Soualy, I found a manufacture of the descrip- 
tion of cloaks called abays ; but all the finer and gold 
worked abays come from Syria. The original abays are 
those of the Bedouins, and made of camel hair, or original 
camlet. Subsequently, as luxury increased, it became a 
manufacture chiefly carried on in Damascus, a large 
amount of gold and silver thread being used on the 
fabric. Further north is the quarter of the Adouy, and 
the Kantarat-el-Wiz, or " Bridge of the Goose," is directly 
on the opposite side of that part of Cairo in which is the 
bridge of the Lion. Hence the expression, " All Cairo 
from the bridge of the Goose to the bridge of the Lion.'' 
On this side of Cairo, near Bab Sha'eb, is the best beer 
establishment in Cairo. I allude to the so-called booza, 


or Egyptian malt liquor, which, is the favourite drink of 
the Nubians. A large portion of both the grooms and 
the house servants of Egypt are of Nubian extraction. 
Booza is therefore the pest of many a Cairo household. 
When the Frank finds his servant coming in late, and 
talking thick, he may be sure that the cause is a beer- 
symposium of Nubian servants a loosing bout. 

Beyond the suburbs, and within the influence of the 
Nile, are villas and market and pleasure-gardens ; and 
beyond them both up and down the Nile is the true 
rural population. It is remarked how suddenly the 
style of language changes as we leave the walls of the 
town. "When a townsman sees a well-shaped woman 
pass, he says, for instance, "By the life of Our Lord, 
that girl is graceful ! " The gardeners say, '* Such and 
such a girl is a gazelle!" but the rude peasant says, 
"What a capital cow !" 

There are various markets in and around Cairo; the 
principal one for asses, horses, and camels, was at the 
large public square between the citadel and Sultan 
Hassan. The Boulak market was, in the last years of 
Mohammed AH on Saturdays, from sunrise to midday, 
at which cattle, fruit, and provisions were sold. The 
market at Old Cairo was for the same object on Sunday ; 
but much business was done at the markets for agricul- 
tural animals, more particularly ploughing oxen, once a 
week at Embabeh and Ghizeh, both on the other side 
of the Nile, where I repeatedly went to mingle and 
converse with the peasantry. 

It is needless to expatiate on the grain-producing 
capacities of Egypt, for the Banat of Temeswar has not 
richer humus than that of the Delta of the Nile. But 
what Egypt wants is population, not only much more 
numerous, but better skilled in the processes of agricul- 
ture. The degraded condition of the fellah is partly the 


result of the physical condition of Egypt itself. There 
are no mountainous districts supplying an energetic rural 
population to the plains, and nourishing ideas, if not of 
a political independence, at least of individual right. 
The vigorous races have been Circassians and Turks, 
who came to Egypt to rule it. The native Egyptian, 
enervated by an exhausting climate, although in the 
midst of a large agricultural production, has been, during 
this century at least, pressing on the limits of sub- 
sistence, a wretched creature, who has taken no share 
in the revived prosperity of Egypt caused by the over- 
land transit, the improved communications, and the 
enormously increased export of agricultural produce to 
Europe. The family of Mohammed Ali, his numerous 
descendants, and the principal mercantile houses of 
Alexandria have made their fortunes ; but the fellah 
remains what he was before misera contribuens plcbs. 
Even before Mohammed Ali's time the fellah was de- 
graded and brutified ; but not so much so as since, 
because small landed properties were scattered all over 
Egypt, and even under the Mameluke beys the cadis 
and ulema were able to protect the proprietors in the 
fee-simple. After the Pasha became the one great pro- 
prietor, the fellah had the worst landlord in the world, a 
bureaucracy with habits and traditions the ^ery opposite 
of the patriarchal relation which ought to subsist be- 
tween peasant and proprietor. The old proprietors were 
more or less responsible to local public opinion, and often 
took a pride in acting handsomely ; but the sub-steward 
of the Pasha knew that his promotion lay in making the 
largest returns to the treasury without reference to right 
or justice. Hence the apparition of such monsters as 
Abderrahman Bey, the renegade Copt, who invented 
new tortures for the purpose of despoiling the peasantry 
of their most secret stores. It is only justice to the 


successors of Mohammed All to say that they have, to 
a certain extent, mitigated those evils in accordance 
with public opinion in Europe, although every one of all 
the Egyptian governments I have ever known held 
the doctrine that the fellah will not work without the 

VOL. n 21 




WE described in the beginning of this work the rise of 
Cairo, and grouped the historical facts around the prin- 
cipal mosques, as they were successively constructed by 
the eminent men who ruled over Egypt, and perpetuated 
their memory by the splendour and extent of these 
religious edifices: we may now therefore examine in 
detail the condition and management of these institu- 
tions in the later years of Mohammed Ali's rule. 

The mosques of Amru, at Fostat, and of Touloun, at 
Katae, which preceded Cairo Proper, were both in a 
ruinous condition, and objects of archaeological curiosity 
rather than the magnets of religious worshippers. To 
the south of Cairo I examined the ruins of Fostat, 
the embryo of the Egyptian metropolis, and found only 
mounds of rubbish ; the characteristic features of the 
landscape being the long line of the arches of an aque- 
duct, a few scattered palm groves, and, in the distance, 
the barren ribs of mount Mokattam. The house of 
Amru and the famous Street of Candles have all disap- 
peared; but the mosque itself remains, and when the 
historic student sees this noble forest of columns, he asks 
himself how many a temple of the Olympic deities, con- 
secrated for Christian worship, must have been despoiled 
to adorn the precincts of the new construction. In the 


enormous quadrangle of the mosque of Touloun, sur- 
rounded with the far-famed arcade of pointed arches, I 
found that many of them were in process of being walled 
up, to form cells for lunatic asylums. The minaret to 
which I ascended by a spiral staircase was in a ruinous 
condition ; but I have since learned that efforts have 
been made, under the successors of Mohammed AH, to 
rescue this most singular monument of the acknowledged 
precedence of the Oriental to the European pointed arch, 
from further ruin and decay. 

The Azhar, which is at the same time the theological 
university of Egypt, deserves especial attention. The 
origin of the mosque has been indicated in the intro- 
ductory book.* I shall therefore confine myself to the 
Azhar, as it was under Mohammed Ali. 

The Azhar had seven gates : 1st. Bab Goharieh, from 
Gohar-el-kaid, the general of Moezz, the founder of 
Cairo, who built the first form of the mosque. 2nd. 
Bab Said Omar Mekram. 3rd. Bab Eiwack-es-Saidy, or 
the gate of the cloister of Upper Egypt, which was built 
by the celebrated Abderrahman Kiahya. 4th. Bab Ei- 
wack-es-Shuam, or gate of the cloister of the Syrians. 
5th. Bab Eiwack-el-Mogharbeh, or gate of the cloister 
of the Mogrebbins. 6th. Bab-el-Meidah. 7th. Bab-el- 
Kubeer, which is also called Bab-el-Mezeien, or Barber's 

* The Azhar was begun on Saturday, the 6th last day (or last day but five) of 
Jemad-el-Ewel, in the year 359 of the Hegira, and was finished on the 9th, last day 
of Ramadan, 361 A.H., and bore the inscription, " Built by the command of the 
servant of God, Abou Temim Ma'ad-el-Imam-el-Moezz-Cedin Allah, the Prince of the 
Faithful, on whom and on whose fathers be the blessing of God by the hands of his 
servant, Gohar, the secretary, the Sicilian (Gohar-el-Kaiu-el-likily)." I have omitted 
the beginning of the inscription " In the name of the most merciful God," etc., etc. The 
first Friday that it was prayed in was the 7th Ramadan, 361 A.H. Ten years afterwards 
it was endowed, and the Fackihs got an allowance out of land which had been bought 
and entailed for them in the neighbourhood of the mosque itself. These readers were 
thirty-five in number, and each of them had a new dress at the great Biaran, and a 
mule. The Caliph Hakem further repaired and endowed the Azhar, and the deed of 
settlement as given by Makrizi is a curious specimen of Cairo conveyancing in the 
tenth century. A silver rail which crossed the niche was removed by Saladin, both 
here and in the mosque of Amru at Fostat, each rail weighing 500 drachms of silver. 
Four orange trees were attempted to be planted in the court yard, but they died. 


gate, from the circumstance of many of this profession 
waiting for business there. We may also add that each 
of the gates has three porters. 

The Mameluke Sultan, Kaid Bey, greatly extended 
the Azhar ; but the great reconstructor in modern times 
was Abderrahman Kiahya, who completely transformed 
its appearance. 

The Eiwack-el-Shuam, or compartment of the Syrians, is 
large, and has no less than three hundred pupils ; and the 
Mogrebbin Eiwack has about a hundred. There is also a 
Eiwaek of the black Dacroorees, and one of a god in India 
called Goawy ; one called Sharkawy, with an endow- 
ment of two hundred loaves a day, in the neighbourhood 
of Damietta, for the people of the eastern part of Egypt. 
The Biwack of the Upper Shark, or that portion of the 
country to the east of the Nile, which is nearer to Cairo 
and more remote from the sea, is numerously attended, 
but has little bread. The Eiwack of Bahyrieh (western 
maritime Egypt) is also called that of the Leiptigaweey, 
but why I cannot tell. The Eiwack-el-Tabarseey is for 
the people of the central part of the Delta. The Eiwack 
of Yemen has few students. The amount of loaves daily 
consumed is four thousand in all. 

The Azhar used never to be shut, day or night, but 
shortly after the conclusion of the Syrian war of 1840, 
all the gates were shut except the great one. It has 
been remarked that professional robbers are ostentatious 
in attendance at the Azhar, and notwithstanding the 
supposed sanctity of the place, many thefts occur, and 
many pockets are picked here. It has now ceased to be 
an asylum for murderers, which it was in the beginning 
of the century. That formidable personage the Moh- 
tissab, or examiner of weights and measures, had no 
power over the immediate neighbourhood of the Azhar, 
which had separate officers called Gindy-el-Mudbach, or 


trooper of the kitchen. These were two in number, one 
in the house of the sheikh of the Azhar, the other in the 
house of the sheikh of the sect of Malek ; and I may 
remark that while there are in Cairo sheikhs of the sect 
of Hanifeh, as followed at Constantinople ; of Shafei, as 
followed in Egypt and Syria ; and of Malek, as followed 
in Morocco, there is no sheikh of Hambaleh in Cairo, 
as there are only a few Wahabys of this sect in that 
city. The bastinado used to take place in the rice- 
kitchen, for these theologians were sometimes rather un- 
ruly. Formerly the shereefs in Cairo were all under 
the so-called Nackeeb-el-Ashraf, and not directly under 
the civil power, just as in certain countries of Europe 
monks were under purely monkish jurisdiction. But 
this system was abolished by Mohammed Ali, and all the 
shereefs, or green-turbaned descendants of the Prophet, 
were placed under the head of the police like other men. 
The ulema, if they commit a theft or any great trans- 
gression, are dealt with by the police ; but if their 
offence has been merely quarrelling or fisty-cuffs, the 
sheikh of the mosque judges and punishes them. 

Another distinction which we may mention, is, that 
the Azhar and Hosseneyn have each of them a mikaty, 
or astronomical time calculator, expressly for their own 
use ; and the time as given by the mosques from the 
observations of these men is the rule for all the other 
mosques of Cairo. At the house of the mufti I happened 
to meet a khatib of the Azhar, and asked him " if the 
Khotbet for the Caliph was prayed for in the old form ;" 
" No ; in old times when the Caliphate was contested it 
was necessary ; but since the Sultan of Constantinople 
was recognized as Caliph, without dispute, he confined 
himself to waas, or preaching." 

The reader may see from these statements, that there 
is an endowment of Spartan fare for the theologians of the 


Azhar.* In fact, the revenues of the mosques of Cairo 
were considerable; but very little remained, after the 
direct and indirect exactions of the government and the 
jobbing of the inspectors. The endowment of mosques 
is often a subject of criticism and even ridicule, and in 
illustration of this, I may give a legend and an anecdote 
of the mosque of Sheikhoun, not far from the citadel, 
and one of the most solid constructions of the second 
class of these religious edifices. 

Every traveller in Catholic countries has heard 
wonderful accounts of the origin of monasteries and 
convents, the appearing of angels, the returning of the 
shades of the departed, and the indications of treasure, 
etc., etc. Connected with the mosque of Sheikhoun 
there is a similar legend. This Sheikhoun had been 
a poor man, and became an Emir. According to this 
story, he had a dream of grapes that fell into his mouth, 
and a voice was heard, saying, " Arise and take your 
wealth from Egypt, in the place where you used to sleep 
there." So he left Damascus, where he was residing, 
dug in the earth at the place told him in the dream, 
and found a treasure, of jewels. He then built this 
mosque. A hungry hypocrite entered it when it was 
finished, and wrote up, in allusion to the absence of any 
liberal endowment of idleness, such as was associated 
with several of the principal mosques at Cairo : 

" Giama bela eish, 

Bunia 1'eish." 

(Gaudy mosque, and nought to eat, 
Is not this a pious cheat ? ) 

* Sultan Barkouk instituted the law, that whatever property the fellows of the 
College possessed, was, like churchmen's property in Europe, to go to the brethren. 
As a corrective of the indolence of such institutions, violent reformers occasionally 
arise. Such was the Emir Sodula, the inspector, a sort of John Knox, who in 818 
turned out, together with their boxes and trunks, hundreds of old students, who 
found themselves in the most miserable condition. Some went back, and even blows 
were resorted to, to drive them out. The Emir then caused a black covering to be 
put on the manbar, but this harshness created clamours, and the Sultan being 
appealed to, the Emir was seized and confined till he died. 


The founder of the mosque, or one of his friends, 
wrote below that : 

" Bunia HI sala, 
Ya kaleel el heia." 

(Built for prayer and praise, 
Pert Mr. Brazenface ! ) 

The mosque of Hosseyneyn, which is considered the 
most sacred in Cairo, contains the head of Hosseyn, the 
son of Ali, who was put to death by the partisans of the 
Damascus Caliphate. This mosque was formerly very 
small, and for its present form was indebted to the oft- 
mentioned Abderrahman Kiahya. It has now seven 
gates, 1st, Bab-el-Meshed ; 2nd, Bab-el- Median; 3rd, 
Bab-el-Hanifeey ; 4th, Bab Sirr, for women, and the two 
larger gates. The festival of the birth of Hosseyn is 
one of the greatest of the religious festivals of Cairo. In 
the mosque I remarked that the fountain is very large. 
One of the peculiarities of the mosque is that the 
curtains of the Beit Allah in Mecca are brought every 
year and are sewed and repaired there, the place being 
thronged by people anxious to put in a few stitches. 
The great festival of this mosque is one of the most 
remarkable in Cairo. Many mashals, or cressets, are 
lighted by religious incorporations ; and during the pre- 
parations one hears the expressions, " Leile azime !" 
" This will be a magnificent night ; Sheikh-el- Gouhary's 
Zikr is to be performed. Everybody will be at Saidna 

The quarters of El-Azhar and El-Hosseyneyn are the 
residences of the principal ulema ; and at the festival of 
Hosseyn most of the bazaars in the neighbourhood are 
lighted up, and the confectioner's shops, more parti- 
cularly, have a splendid display of lamps. Lads may be 
seen at various points filling cressets with wood, and 
lighting them ; and the shrill tones of the distant 


clarinet, and the throbbing drub of the drum, approach- 
ing and crossing the angles of the street, announce that 
the procession of Bayoumi dervishes to the mosque of 
Hosseyn is about to commence. On the steps of the 
fountain of Abderrahman Kiahya, stood the naib of 
the Bayoumi dervishes, who are nearly all bakers. 
This naib wore a red robe, and was supported on each 
side by his two so-called caliphs or delegates ; and these 
olive complexioned dark-eyed youths, with fanaticism 
depicted on every feature, would in turn go forward to 
kiss his hand. A forest of cressets shed a flickering 
blaze on the curious twisted pillars inlaid with devices 
and elaborate stalactites of the fountain of Abderrahman 
Kiahya, which stood out from the depth of the obscurity 
of night so as to make a picture with a force of chiaro- 
scuro, that rivetted itself firmly on the memory. The 
coup d'oeil of the interior of the mosque is striking ; the 
roof is supported by about fifty columns, between each 
of which there is a light chandelier. The zikr goes on 
in the centre, and the mosque is so crowded that there is 
scarcely standing room, but all speak in a whisper. 
When the zikr is done, thick wax candles, about a yard 
long and a couple of inches in diameter, are lighted, and 
a procession is formed, which passes into the sanctuary 
beyond, where is the head of Hosseyn Imam, son of 
Imam. Here the heat is stifling. The walls are 
covered with various coloured marbles, and a truly 
regal bronze railing that would have done honour to 
a Torrigiano, encloses the magnificent tomb around which 
the procession slowly passes chanting solemn words 
from the Koran. The magnificent oriental costumes, 
the impressive bearded and turbaned heads, the oriental 
architecture, the blaze of illumination, and the associations 
called forth by the recollection of the striking and affect- 
ing incidents of the death of Hosseyn, all conspire to 


make an impression on the historical and archaeological 
student never to be forgotten. 

All the memorials of the Caliph Hakem, who had so 
much method in his madness, are of interest, but not 
many traces of the Cairo of his day are still extant. Near 
the Bab-Zueileh, we still find Derb-el-Ahmar, or the 
Crimson-street, so called to this day, from the blood shed 
in the massacre of the inhabitants of Cairo by his Turkish 
troops. The mosque of Hakem is a vast ruin. The 
gypsum tracery and the massiveness of the minarets, 
with outlines resembling the monuments of ancient 
Egypt, have nothing in common with the later style 
of Cairo, and carry back the spectator to the period 
when the architecture of Bagdad, Irak, and Coufa, still 
influenced that of Egypt.* 

The mosque of Daher Bibars is an immense con- 
struction forming a square rivalling in extent those of 
Hakem and Touloun ; but, like those once splendid con- 
structions, it is a ruin. From being a mosque of the first 
order, it became in the time of the French, Fort Sukowski, 
named after that lively Pole who spoke so many languages- 

* The so-called mosque of Hakem was begun by El Aziz Ebn Moezz Abou 
Hakem, and finished by Hakem, in its first form. It was outside the town, until 
Bedr extended Bab-el-Nasr and Bab Foutouh outwards, when it came within the 
town. It was first called Giama-el-Khotbeah, or mosque of the Litany, then Giama 
Hakem, or the mosque of Hakem, and last, Giama-el-Enwar, or the luminous 
mosque. It was first prayed in, in the year 380, by Aziz, who wore the teglasan or 
mitre, and carried a sceptre in his hand, accompanied by his son. In the time of 
Negm Eddin Salih Eyoub, it was turned into a stable, for the Eyoubites hated the Fati- 
mites. In the great earthquake in the eighth century of the Hegira, it was still further 
damaged. But what a noble pile it must have been to withstand such a pressure ! 
for in this great convulsion boats were thrown out of the Nile an arrow's distance, 
while only two of the minarets of Hakem were thrown down. Bibars repaired and 
endowed it, for the Eyoubites, who hated the Fatimites, and were in turn hated by 
the Balrirites. It was in its day the Azhar of Cairo, being plentifully supplied with 
ulema ; and these mosques had their separate sets of partizans, public opinion and 
royal favour inclining sometimes to the one, and sometimes to the other. Hakem 
himself repaired and made additional endowments for the Azhar ; and in his time 
it was more frequented then the mosque of Hakem, being more in the centre of the 
town. Up to the completion of the mosque of Hakem, the Azhar had the exclusive 
privilege of the Litany, but afterwards it was repeated by turns in the Azhar and 
Hakem. Salad in, however, fixed the Litany in the mosque of Hakem on account of 
its size, and for a hundred years no Litany was said in El Azhar, until Bibars restored 
it to the latter mosque. 


In the latter years of Mohammed All, it was a bakehouse 
of the government, and eighty ardebs of corn were daily 
made into round cakes where the tricolor waved when 
the century began. 

I had no difficulty in recognizing the style of archi- 
tecture, a sort of transition from the plaster tracery in 
the Bagdad forms of Touloun and Hakem, to the more 
recent Cairo styles. On entering, one sees instead of the 
long arcade, the spacious basin, the elaborate chair of 
the preacher, and the bending lines of the congregation 
in prayer something like a factory yard ; with a couple 
of palms seeking a scanty existence among mounds of 
cinders and mean huts frequented by white-coated millers 
and bakers. Lines of asses, loaded with grain, tread 
where mosaic pavements once shone. The complete 
line of fretted windows, each with its inscription in cufic 
a character that seems formed for architectural decora- 
tion, was still visible, a striking monument of departed 
splendour over which ruled the Turkish nazir, sitting 
motionless on his mat at the gate under the shade of a 
sycamore, smoking his pipe, while beside him a blear- 
eyed Coptic clerk, wearing a black turban, registered the 
entrance of corn and the exit of loaves. 

In the earlier part of this history I gave some account 
of Sultan Kalaon who finally expelled the Pranks from 
Syria, rebuilt the castles, towers, walls, and gates of 
Damascus, Aleppo, and other cities, and was also the 
father and grandfather of Mohammed-el -Nasr and Sultan 
Hassan, thus shedding the combined lustre of arms and 
arts on this family. 

The principal edifice erected by Kalaon, in Cairo, was 
the great hospital, called the Maristan, which had been 
the locality of the house of Sitt-el-Molk, the sister of 
Caliph Hakem, who had brought about his death. This 
edifice was built in the year 682 of the Hegira, (A.D. 


1283) the cause of Kalaon's building it having been the 
cure of a disease, effected on him in the Maristan, or 
hospital of Damascus, which had been built by Nour- 
eddin and Saladin ; and he swore that, if ever he had 
the power, he would build a similar establishment.* 
His work was aided by a casket of jewels, of considerable 
value, found by labourers while employed in digging for 
the fountain, and which had doubtless been concealed by 
some princess of the Fatimite dynasty. The value of 
these jewels was said to have been nearly as much as the 
cost of building, for a considerable portion of the palace 
of Sitt-el-Molk was retained. 

I think it highly probable that Frank architects or 
builders may have been employed in the edifices erected 
by Kalaon and his son ; for a portal on the great line of 
bazaars is as like Gothic as possible. Most of the 
materials were taken from the ruins of buildings in the 
island of Kodah, and everyone passing was obliged to 
carry a stone, so that the road was deserted. In this 
matter there seems to have been more of vain-glory on the 
part of Kalaon than of chanty. It does not appear who 
was in possession of the palace of Sitt-el-Molk at the period 
in question ; but it is certain that it was pounced upon 
by force, and that the ulema made great obstacles to con- 
secrating the contiguous mosque, as the ground that 
it had been built on had been taken by force, and the 
edifice reared by compulsory labour. The argument of 
the Mamelukes of Kalaon, was, that the prior possession 
had been obtained by force ; and, secondly, that there 
was no instance of getting people to work in Egypt 
without compulsion. 

* This edifice exists to this day in a dilapidated state in Damascus. The entrance 
gate is one of the greatest cunosities in Syria ; it is of perfectly preserved Roman 
architecture of the third or fourth century, and above it is a. stalactite superstructure 
of Saracenic architecture ; the whole aspect heing an odd jumble of a reminiscence 
of Diocletian and Saladin. 


The deed of settlement and endowment states that it 
is "for the cure and aid of all of the king and of the 
slave (malek-we-memlook, literally possessor and pos- 
sessed), private and commander (or trooper and emir), 
great men and small men, free and bond, masculine and 
feminine." Kalaon appointed physicians, servants and 
attendants, male and female, and laid down beds for the 
sick, with four wards adapted to the climate one for 
ophthalmia, one for dysentery, one for the wounded, and 
one for fever. Besides these there were, a kitchen, la- 
boratory, and dispensary for out-door patients; while 
those sick at home and unable to attend the dispensary 
were assisted from this place. The vastness of the 
arrangements may be inferred from the fact that the 
consumption of sugar alone was five hundred pounds 
daily. The mosque, which was also liberally endowed, 
is an edifice which the traveller may remember by its 
fine antique columns, adapted by the architect. It had 
a complete establishment of inspectors, imams, muez- 
zins, and readers of the Koran, including six librarians. 
In short, all the accounts concur in representing it as a 
magnificent establishment. As time rolled on, how- 
ever, the funds were gradually dissipated by unfaithful 
trustees ; and at last it became one of the lions of Cairo 
for the maniacs were kept chained in dens like wild 
beasts until, through the exertions of Clot Bey, in our 
own time, a more suitable asylum was provided for these 
unhappy persons, with a treatment more in accordance 
with the humanity of modern notions. The lofty roof 
of the mosque of Kalaon is supported by superb granite 
columns, which were, strange to say, painted of a light 
green colour when I was last in Cairo. At the great 
entrance stood local physicians and apothecaries, pre- 
scribing and making up prescriptions, with their drugs in 
curious old gallipots, some of considerable size and value. 


The most remarkable monument of this family is the 
mosque of Sultan Hassan, the son of Malek-el-Nasr, and 
the grandson of Kalaon. It was as much intended to be 
a collegiate seminary as a mosque, and the buildings for 
the former purpose range eight stories high. It was the 
original intention of Sultan Hassan to have had four 
minarets ; but in the great earthquake of 1361 a minaret 
fell, and then occurred those great slits in the wall and 
breaks in the cornice which are still visible. Hassan's 
eunuch, Beshir, completed the mosque, but large endow- 
ments by Hassan for this object were withheld by his 
successors. The mosque is generally in a ruinous condi- 
tion ; for, being opposite to the citadel, it was invariably 
occupied during the innumerable rebellions and civil 
wars constantly recurring in Cairo, so that the wonder 
is that it still stands at all. It was used in this way in 
the time of Sultan Barkouk, the first of the Circassian 
sultans, who caused the stairs that led to the roof to be 
pulled down : they were however built up again. By 
this long dark staircase I ascended to the roof, and then 
to the balustrade of the minaret. The panorama of 
Cairo visible from this height is not so good as that from 
Touloun, because Hassan itself, the principal object in 
the prospect of the city, is the point of observation, and 
is not itself seen. But still it pleased, like a varied 
version of a tale worth telling. The gates are of bronze, 
and rivetted with bolts in which zinc and even some 
gold and silver enter. The mobakharah, or censer of 
bronze, is not the original one, which was transferred to 
the mosque of Moeyed. Thus the mosque of Sultan 
Hassan has had the disadvantage of not only being 
dilapidated through earthquakes and war, but of having 
been dismantled to gratify a vanity that failed in its 
aim ; for the mosque of Moeyed has made its reputation 
on purely architectural grounds. 


Those colossal letters carried round the alcoves, in 
which verses of the Koran are written, are called 
" Toomar," so denominated from one of the seventy-two 
characters in Arab caligraphy, a pedantic conceit, as if 
the tokalon of writing was not that which is easiest of 
comprehension. But in reality there are not above three 
or four styles of writing Arabic, as known to the most 
accomplished persons. It is certainly a characteristic of 
the Arabs that there is a greater union of written cha- 
racter and architectural ornament with them than with 
us. As the representation of the human form (that is to 
say, a larger proportion of the most beautiful and 
ingenious devices of the later Roman styles, comprising 
all sorts of ingenious caryatides, consoles, and mouldings, 
in which male or female heads or bodies appear) was 
forbidden to the Moslem architects, they were compelled 
to eke out the baldness of the earliest mosques by an 
ornament which was not vain and sensuous, but com- 
memorative of the Deity and the leading doctrines of 
Islamism. The object, in the first instance, was, just as in 
Christian art, to make it the vehicle of religious senti- 
ment: but afterwards came a reverse somewhat ana- 
logous to what is presented by later Christian art, and 
religious decoration was used solely to display the in- 
genuity of the architect, and please the artistic taste of 
the worshipper, often with very little reference to didactic 
objects. Letters were put together with the symmetrical 
ingenuity of a Chinese puzzle, for some geometrical 
design had to be aimed at in the disposition, no 
matter how difficult it might be to decipher the enigma ; 
and it is amusing sometimes to see the most learned 
orientalist attempting to spell out the sentence in which 
the architect thought only of the symmetrical disposition 
of his lines and pot-hooks, never troubling himself about 
the likelihood of the words being read. In short they 


ceased to be sentences of the Koran, and were mere 
arabesques, with anagrammatic apothegms for their 

The Eoumelyeh, or large public square of Cairo, so 
often represented in prints, having the mosque of Sultan 
Hassan on one side, and the castle on the other, is, like 
the Durwe-sheey of Damascus, crowded with a motley 
population. Seeing a number of people going out of and 
into a dark covered court, with a tank, I entered and 
saw the Mughtas-el-Sultany, or washing place of the 
bodies of criminals, which is close to the Giama-el- 
Moumeneen, so called because the imam prays over the 
dead with these words, "Nawaito assala ala min hadar 
amuat el moumeneen : " "I hold up my hands and 
pray for the defunct believer." Opposite the mosque 
of Nezm-Eddin is that of Sultan Barkouk, remarkable 
for having the largest Korans in Cairo, and, as some of the 
ulema maintain, the largest extant anywhere. Each page 
is a large calf-skin, dressed with the greatest care and cut 
square. Both parchment and character are beautiful, and 
the illumination, mostly in blue and gold, surpasses any- 
thing I have seen in arabesque. Being too large to be 
moved, the boards, desk, and stand form one piece of 
furniture. In another mosque near the citadel I found 
other colossal Korans. The mosque of the Emir Akhor, 
or master of the horse, is small, but none in Cairo is more 
beautiful in proportions. The relations of minaret, dome, 
and elevation to each other are all perfect. I found it 
internally mouldering and tumbling to pieces, and one 
of those enormous copies of the Koran on vellum, 
beautifully illuminated was covered with half an 
inch of dust and dirt, thus showing that I had 
been the first person who had opened it for several 

The mosque of Moeyed is altogether the handsomest 


in Cairo, taken in connection with the gate of Zueileh. 
Unlike the mosque of Sultan-el- Ghoury, the grand 
entrance of Moeyed is lofty and noble in the extreme : 
the interior is surrounded by an elegant arcade with 
horse-shoe arches, and the pillars are all antique, some in 
porphyry and some in white marble. The Mobakharah is 
the most magnificent of those taken from Sultan Hassan. 
The walls in the Moharrem are covered with porphyry 
and old Damascus porcelain, and a large separate pulpit 
stands for the reading of the chapter of the Seven Sleepers 
from the Koran. Several lofty sycamores have been 
planted around the mayda, or fountain for ablution, which 
adds much to the noble effect. The masonry of the 
whole mosque is painted in alternate courses of white 
and red. The interior of Moeyed may not have the awe- 
striking lines of the Ewaween of Sultan Hassan ; but the 
two minarets towering loftily over Bab -Zueileh, the 
extent of the mosque, its excellent distribution, and 
the picturesque effect of the colour, render it altogether 
the most pleasing edifice in Cairo. 

Although the bazaar of the Ghoury is the most mag- 
nificent in Cairo, the mosque itself is not conspicuously 
separated from it. The tank of water is outside the 
mosque, and in an out-of-the-way corner, as if it were 
not intended for the use of the mosque at all. The 
visitor ascends a staircase where a wooden barrier of 
about a foot high marks the place where shoes must 
be taken off. He then steps over the barrier upon a 
richly coloured mosaic pavement in which the dark red 
of porphyry is conspicuous ; and, going through a dark 
angular passage, like the entrance to a bath, enters the 
mosque of El Ghoury (whose reign we have described). 
The interior is small and dark, but of extreme elegance, 
the windows being glazed with a profusion of curious 
symmetrical arabesques. This mosque was not finished in 


the lifetime of the Sultan. The minaret is exceedingly 
beautiful, being encased with purple tiles, so as to form 
one of the most picturesque objects in the city. Here 
also is the celebrated reliquary of the Prophet Mo- 
hammed, consisting of his robe, his box of kohl, or blue 
dye, a copy of the Koran, and various other articles, as 
described in the following Arabic verses, beginning : 

" Mohalaf ataka subhatan wu mishafon, 
Suvakon kissan ibrik wu nalon," etc. ; 

which may be translated thus : 

" The relics of the Prophet are beads and a Koran, 
A box of black ointment, and a carpet well worn ; 
A stick, a tooth-cleaner, a robe and a handmill ; 
Ewer, sandals, and cloak, and a mule called Dil-dil ; 
Greaves, mats, and a camel, whose name was Adbad, 
When with reverence approached, bring good health out of bad." 

Considering the extraordinary rapidity with which 
Islamism spread, even in the lives of those who had 
seen Mohammed in their youth, and the immediate 
grasp which the Koran took of the human mind, from 
its comparatively lofty morality, and the incomparable 
eloquence of its style, these relics are unquestionably 
less apocryphal than those of the first Christians. 
Three centuries had elapsed between the reign of 
Tiberius and the public recognition of Christianity 
throughout the Eoman Empire : during that time much 
concealment had been practised, and the public recog- 
nition of Christianity was followed, in the middle ages, 
by centuries of enthusiastic credulity as to the relics 
of the martyrs ; so that if it were really of any interest 
to possess the bones of a disciple or apostle, the means 
of identification were almost null. The Koran was 
written, not only in a far more impressive and striking 
style than any of the four gospels, but it appeared at 
a time when the Empire of the West was extinct, and 

VOL. ii. 22 


when that of the East wanted the compact military 
power which characterized the Eomans in the time of 
Tiberius, and long afterwards, in a state of intimate 
connection with the Olympic mythology. We may 
therefore assume, from the early and rapid conquest 
of Islamism, and the absence of a Moslem period of 
persecution, that there is much greater probability of 
these being genuine relics of Mohammed, than those 
of the Eoman Church being authentic remains of the 
first Christian martyrs. 

Adjoining the mosque of Moeyed is the Gulshany, or 
convent of dervishes, mostly Turks, in the middle of 
which rises the famous porcelain mosque and tomb, so 
as to make it one of the most curious monuments of 
Cairo, but quite concealed from view. Although in 
the Turkish style of architecture, the elevation is en- 
tirely composed of this fine material, the tiles having 
mostly all been manufactured at Damascus. This pot- 
tery was abandoned in the latter part of the last century, 
and long since nearly everywhere else, which is the more 
striking when one reflects that the great Italian school 
of pottery is of Moslem origin, and that the original 
Majolica came from the then Moslem Majorica and Sicily. 

The Tekiet-el-Agem is a convent of dervishes, in 
which are Turks and Persians : it is an off-shoot of the 
celebrated institution of Mollah Hunkiar, in Konieh. 
Such establishments are not very numerous in Egypt 
and Syria; and the Arabs look upon most Persian and 
Turkish dervishes as adventurers. In addition to this, 
although the Turks have established their rule in Egypt, 
Syria, and the Hedjas, as well as in other Arab countries, 
yet the real old Egyptian or Syrian alim looks on all 
Turks having pretensions to religion and learning as still 
retaining something of the neophite or semi-barbarian : 
they scarcely except the learned cadis that come from 


Constantinople, and who are so superior to themselves in 
external breeding. They can never forget that Islam 
is essentially of Arab origin, and that the Caliphates 
of Damascus, Bagdad, and Cairo were in Arab dynas- 
ties. Theirs is something of the feeling with which 
an Athenian regarded a Roman, even when the eagles 
were the sign of dominion from the Pillars of Hercules 
to the frontiers of Persia, and from the Nile to the Frith 
of Forth. Arabic literature may be said to be dead, 
and to have been so for three centuries ; but the contrast 
between the voluminous abundance of Arab literature 
and the scantiness of the Turkish, is a fact which never 
disappears from the Arab mind. The Arabs are also 
much less familiar with the charming poets of Persia 
than the Turks are. If a Turk has a theological turn, 
it is to the Arabic doctors that he devotes his attention ; 
but the Turkish dilettante, who wishes to kill time with 
a little literature, has a constant resource in the twin 
poets of Persia. 

The so-called orthodox Islamism of the Sunnite Turk 
is acknowledged by the Arab, but he is always looked 
upon as a stranger, although Egypt has had none but 
Turks, or Turkish speaking Circassians, as rulers for a 
period of six centuries. 

The Arab is also struck with the superior magnificence 
and variety of design of Arabic over Turkish archi- 
tecture ; and it must be confessed, that, in the eye of 
the artist, picturesqueness of situation apart, the archi- 
tecture of Constantinople can bear no comparison with 
that of Cairo. Turkish mosques are usually picturesque 
objects ; and the Byzantine dome and the tapering 
minarets are generally associated with well grown trees 
w r hich partially conceal the body of the edifice out of 
which they arise. But there is a great monotony in the 
constant repetition of the same lines, even although the 


scale be large. It is not so with Arab architecture, 
which has far greater variety, both of form and colour, 
and the instances of which need not be adduced to the 

Zawiet-el-Hinood is the oratory of the Moslem 
Hindus, many of whom are to be found selling cutlery 
and other articles : they are nearly all pedlars, who have 
made the pilgrimage to Mecca. I visited the mosque 
of Indian dervishes, which was small and neat. The 
principal ornament was a plan of a large mosque hang- 
ing from the wall ; the sections, elevations, and orna- 
ments bearing a rude resemblance to the working plans 
of European architects. 

On the high line of the bazaars is the mosque of 
Negm-Eddin-Salih, a curious ruin, the columns evi- 
dently belonging to the antique. The Moezzin, making 
great difficulty, took me into the tomb of Sultan 
Salih, and, to my surprise, shewed me seven conical 
vases around the tomb, said to have been sent as a 
present from a king of the Franks, but filled with 
powder that they might explode. There were eight of 
them, one having exploded. But as gunpowder was not 
invented and in use in the time of this monarch, it is 
evidently a fable. The saddle of this Sultan is still 
hung up at his tomb, and it may be well imagined that 
after five hundred years it looks very shabby; but the 
tomb itself is a most curious specimen of woodwork. 
Near here is also the ancient mosque of El Akmar, 
which carries us back to early Cairo: it was built by 
the Vizier Mamoun, according to the orders of Ahkam 
Allah, in 519, and was repaired by Bibars. The well 
belonged to a Christian convent before Islamism, and 
Gouhar-el-Caid inclosed it in the original palace of 
Moezz, on the foundation of Cairo, and its name Bir- 
el-Taam, or "well of repasts," is a proof that the 


water was used for the culinary purposes of the palace, or 
for drinking water at the Caliph's repasts. 

It were an endless task to go in detail through the 
rest of the hundred mosques of Cairo ; for almost every 
one has its marvellous apocryphical legend its real 
history associated with the phases of political history, 
or some quaint illustration of extinct Arab decorative 
schools of art. A thick volume might be made out 
of the undescribed curiosities of Cairo. At the mosque 
Giama Symadian, built by a native of Tlemecen in 
Algiers, is shown a running spring which the people 
of Egypt believe to find its way into the sea subterra- 
neously at Suez; but I dare say it finds its way into 
the Nile, somewhere between Boulak and Shoubrah. 
The mosque of Sheikh Hamoudeh, a small one in the 
upper part of Cairo, was frequented by women desirous 
of having the afreets driven out ; and it was also said 
that assignations were occasionally made here. The 
mosque of the Daoudeey is celebrated for the high steps 
by which it is entered, and which are cemented with 
lead, from whence it is called Giama-el-M'allak, "the 
cemented mosque : " it was named after a Sultan Daoud, 
and the quarter around it was formerly that of the 
prostitutes, but they were transported by Mohammed 
Ali to Upper Egypt, and now the quarter is inhabited 
by a laborious population. Its former history gave 
rise to an untranslatable distich on the fixedness of the 
mosque, and the looseness of the female population. 

There are mosques which recommend themselves by 
their artistic beauty in strange out of the way streets. 
For instance, the mosque of Siganem, between that of 
Kaisoun and the Derb-el-Ahmar, has a mosaic pavement 
of plain black and white marble, much admired on 
account of the excellence of the joining, and the pecu- 
liarity of the arabesque pattern, in which great elegance 


is united with the most curious ingenuity. The mosque 
of Kaisoun itself is most picturesque in summer, when 
the sun shines fiercely without ; while, within the court- 
yard, umbrageous foliage spreading over the tank of 
ablution produces an agreeable coolness, and the che- 
quered rays of an Egyptian sun turn the wall of the 
mosque, with its partial dilapidation, into a scene which 
De Hooge would have prized as a subject. 

A real and unmistakable gem is also in this part of 
Cairo; for there is in all Egypt and Syria no more 
beautiful specimen of inlaid architectural elevation than 
the fountain of Caid Bey, one of the later Mameluke 
Sultans. Although marked by the ravages of time, and 
dimmed in many parts, the effect upon the eye is some- 
what like that of a colossal table of Florentine Pietra 
Commessa turned over from the horizontal to the perpen- 
dicular. Such marquetrie in marble, precious stones, 
and lapis lazuli, is to be seen in no other part of Cairo. 
Faded though this ornament be for want of cleaning, 
which would cost but little, one could detect the superior 
richness and beauty of the style of the Mameluke Sultans 
over that of the moderns ; for certainly no workman could 
be found in Cairo, at this day, capable of producing this 
ornament of the so-called " ropemaker's-road." 

The great renovator of the mosques and fountains 
of Cairo, was Abderrahman Kiahya, who lived in the 
middle of the eighteenth century. He was a very 
wealthy man, and envious people circulated reports that 
he had discovered the philosopher's stone, had acquired 
his gold by alchemy, and that his piety was a sham. 
But when was good done without detraction ? The more 
probable assumption is that he may have found a treasure : 
certain it is that his means, large as they were, and the 
munificence with which he acted, seemed out of propor- 
tion to each other. In the oriental style of exaggeration, 


it was said after his death, " that he had built as many 
mosques as there were days in the year." This muni- 
ficent man, in addition to the many mosques which he 
built and repaired, constructed in Cairo twenty troughs 
of stone for watering asses and camels, with water-wheels 
attached to them, so that kindness to animals was 
included in the schemes of his beneficence. These 
erections have now mostly fallen into ruin. 

The master of Abderrahman Kiahya was Osman Kiahya; 
and in the mosque of Osman Kiahya, there are said to 
be two pillars of glass, but I did not see them. Sheikh 
Ahmed, the last of the great astrologers and astronomers 
of Egypt, was connected with this mosque and lived at it. 
There were still, in Mohammed Ali's time, three or four 
mikaty, or astronomical time calculators, attached to the 
great mosques, who preserved the Arabic traditions and 
instruments, being entire strangers to the astronomical 
science of Europe. They made their observations nightly 
in the clear atmosphere of Cairo, keeping the time of the 
town, so that the hour of prayer might be accurately pro- 
claimed by the muezzins, and they were sadly puzzled by 
the orthodox tradition of the sun moving round the earth, 
and the Copernican theory which threatened to subvert 
the old system. One of my acquaintances had a passion 
for astronomy, and read all the Arabic medieval authors 
on this science, and was quite familiar with all the stellar 
phenomena that immediately meet the naked eye and 
with the copious Arabic nomenclature of both constella- 
tions and individual bodies ; but he was firm in his belief 
of the falseness of the Copernican theory. I confess, 
that to me a learned native Egyptian is always more 
interesting than those natives of the East who are half- 
educated Franks, for the one has the national stamp, 
while the other is a mongrel. Thus wars the logic of 
congruity with abstract reason ! 


The Sibeel of Abderrahman Kiahya is one of the most 
characteristic specimens of the semi-scholastic fountains 
of Cairo. A vast grated window stands at the corner of 
the street, bordered with the most florid tracery, present- 
ing in miniature something like a Saracenic translation 
of such ornaments as those that adorn the chapel of Henry 
VIII. ; and beneath it are a couple of brass spouts, 
supplying water, while on the first floor above are heard 
noises such as those that proceed from a school or charity 
endowment giving food to the mind, and water to the 
body. This monument is neither Greek, Eoman, Moorish, 
nor Turkish, but its general effect is strikingly pic- 
turesque. Upstairs sat from twenty to thirty children 
on mats, all bowing in turn, and reading aloud extracts 
from the Koran from wooden boards. A child, called up 
to give a specimen, kissed the master's hand, and then 
sitting down, cross-legged and swinging its head, began 
to read. The system is the same as Jacotot's, although 
not taken from him. TJhey learn to read without knowing 
the meaning of the words, the meaning being left to 
break slowly upon the pupil's mind afterwards. The 
specimens of writing are beautiful ; for the Arab character 
has more of the lines of beauty than the Eoman, but it 
is inconvenient in practice from its being so involved. 
The perusal of oriental writing, except it be very clear, 
is almost as much spelling as reading, and therefore must 
yield the palm to the perspicuous system of Europe 
where all the vowels are presented on the same level as 
the consonants. 




IT was immediately after the expulsion of the Egyp- 
tians and the re-establishment of the Government of the 
Sultan, that I proceeded to Syria, in order to collect data 
for a work on the Political Geography of that country. 
My first attention was directed to the population of Da- 
mascus, which I found to be divided as follows : 

Moslems 90,000 

Greek Catholics 4,700 

Orthodox Greeks 4,000 

Syrian Jacobites 800 

Armenian Catholics 500 

Maronites 150 

Jews 4,000 

Soldiers and Foreigners . . . 14,000 

Total .... 118,150 

There were no means of obtaining absolute accuracy 
as to the numbers. The return is taken from round 
estimates by intelligent persons in communication with 
public functionaries. Statistics may ultimately become 
easy in Turkey, but the inevitable result of the combined 
operation of oppressive and arbitrary taxation, and of 

VOL. ii. 23 


secrecy and seclusion in everything relating to the 
Hareem, was a perpetual tendency to intentional conceal- 
ment and falsification in relation to statistical inquiries. 

Thirty years previously, that is to say, about the year 
1810, the population was estimated at 151,000, but the 
great plagues of 1814 and 1815 carried off more than 
30,000 persons. It is said, that on some days 800 per- 
sons died within the twenty-four hours. Previous to the 
expulsion of the Egyptians, the population according to 
the census of the "Ferdeh," or Poll-tax (literally "indi- 
vidual," or " separate "), was 112,000. The subsequent 
increase may be accounted for by the return of con- 
scripts and other young men who had fled to Asia Minor 
and other places to avoid the conscription. 

Damascus has eight gates: Bab Sharki, facing the 
east, of Eoman construction ; Bab Toma, facing the north, 
of Saracen construction ; Bab Selam, facing the north ; 
Bab Amara, facing the north ; Bab Boabdgi, facing the 
north ; Bab Suk-er-Eouam, facing the west ; Bab Yahya- 
facing the west; Bab Shaghoor, facing the south. 

The Christians live in the town between Bab Sharki 
and Bab Toma, and the Shiites, or members of the sect 
of " Shea," who are in Syria callad Metualis, live in the 
Shaghoor, and between Bab Sharki and Bab Selam. They 
are called " Arfad" by the Sunnite Moslems, because they 
reject Omar, Abou Bekr, and Osnian, but they maintain 
that they belong to the sect of Shafei, because it is the 
nearest to their own. The Druses are called in Damascus 
" Teiamini," that is to say, the inhabitants of the valley 
of Teim-Allah, in which Hasbeya and Easheya are 
situated. Their quarter in the Meidan is called " Harat- 


el-Teiamini." There are no Nosairies within the town. 
They all live either in Salahieh, or in the Meidan. 

The principal edifice in Damascus is the mosque of the 
Beni Omeya, which has been so often and so minutely 
described. Both the Christians and Moslems believe 
that it contains the head of John the Baptist. Two of 
the three minarets have special names. The highest is 
called Ma'adenet 'Isa, that is to say " the Minaret of 
Jesus." The western minaret has no other name. The 
northern is called Ma'adenet-el-aruseh, or " Minaret of 
the Bride." A law exists according to which not less than 
ten persons go up into the last-mentioned minaret to call 
out the summons to prayer. Altogether, a hundred and 
fifty Muezzins belong to this minaret, an office considered 
acceptable to the Deity, and honourable among men ; 
hence the rhyming proverb : 

" Sa t'im we lau talabook 

We edhdhin we lau taradook." 
(Do not preach, if requested, 
But summon to prayers, even if repelled.) 

The next most remarkable building in Damascus is 
its celebrated castle, which by all the old Moslem His- 
torians is styled Asad-el-rabed, and Sebaa-el-barek, that 
is to say " the Sturdy Lion." 

The castle when I saw it had a single gate, the walls 
are an enormous mass of magnificent masonry y but the 
interior was a vast ruin ; large barracks, a seraglio, and 
private houses having in lapse of time disappeared, partly 
by neglect, partly by fire. There is abundance of room 
for all the edifices requisite for a pasha and his troops ; 
and within these solid walls the governor need fear 


nothing from the townspeople, though their strength 
would not be adequate to the defence of the town against 
an enemy provided with the appliances of modern war- 
fare. Many private houses within the walls were burnt 
down by the Egyptians on their departure. The river 
Banias flows through the castle, strong iron railings pre- 
cluding entrance and exit. The principal archaBological 
curiosity among the tombs of the Ommiad Caliphs is that 
of Yezeed, who brought about the death of Hosseyn, the 
son of Ali, which is entirely covered with the pebbles 
which have been thrown upon it in contempt, on every 
anniversary of the death of Hosseyn. By far the most 
solid specimens of masonry in Damascus are the tombs 
of the celebrated Mameluke Sultans, Malek-ed-daher 
(Bibars) and Malek-el-Adel. The former has an in- 
scription stating that it was built by Malek-el-Mansoor 
Seifeddin Kalaon in the year 676 of the Hejira, and 
contains the remains of two great kings (Malikain el 
Azimain). Of the buildings which have been erected 
since the Turkish conquest, the most remarkable is the 
Convent of Dervishes, built by Sultan Selim, on the wide 
meadow of the Barrada above the town : its lofty dome, 
and its two minarets, shooting up among well-grown trees, 
produce a pleasant impression. Passing through a hand- 
some portal, the visitor finds himself in a large court- 
yard. The peristyle and the arcades are borne on forty- 
two pillars, most of which are of finely veined and polished 
marble. The kitchen of the convent, although jet black 
with soot, is, I must say, in an architectural point of 
view, the most remarkable that it has been my lot to see 
in any country. It consists of four lofty and very in- 


geniously constructed vaults, supported by one strong 
central pillar. The revenues of the convent are con- 
siderable, but I found no Dervishes there, and the whole 
place is in a ruinous condition. The rents paid by 
certain villages to the convent go to the Fisc, or public 
treasury, although there are a few hereditary sinecures 
fixed on the endowment. 

The principal street of Damascus is still the Tarik-el- 
Mustakeem, or Straight Street. Here are large bowls of 
rice, piled in cones, and fantastically decorated with eggs 
arranged with jars of curdled milk, liquid butter, and 
honey. These jars are mostly of zinc and curiously en- 
graved. The bazaars, being well covered and sprinkled 
with water several times a day, are tolerably cool even 
in the hottest weather known in Damascus, where the 
heat is rarely so great as at Aleppo, although the latter 
is three thousand feet above the level of the sea. This is 
owing to the abundance of water in Damascus, which is 
famed for its rivers, and to the vast extent of apricot 
and orange orchards, that begin where the building ends. 

Further on, in the same line of street, there is an in- 
ternal gate called Bab Caradees, or "Gate of Carathis,'' an 
antique arch of Eoman construction, but now jet black 
with age and the smoke of fried mutton, which is here 
sold for the early breakfast of the people. An examin- 
ation of this spot shows the original soil to have been 
many feet under the present level. 

Not far from this place is the Khan of Assad Pasha, 
which is the handsomest in Damascus. It was built by 
the celebrated Assad Pasha, the founder of the wealthy 
and powerful house of Adm. Assad governed Damascus 


with justice, mildness, and vigour, in the middle of the last 
century, and upwards of thirty members of this family 
have been from first to last Pashas in various parts of the 
Ottoman Empire : they occupy the first rank in Syria 
among what I may call the official nobility, as contrasted 
with the old feudal Emirs and Sheikhs. 

In my opinion the most interesting street in Damascus 
is the Harat-el-Durwesheey, or street of Dervishes, one 
of the most thoroughly Oriental streets in the East, in 
which there are a great variety of coffee-houses, shops, 
and stalls of itinerants, that give to it the appearance of a 
fair. Native Effendis, and strange uncouth Sheikhs, 
lounge about and mingle with Dervishes from the most 
distant parts of Asia, and with religious sunburnt mad- 
men who have not a single fig-leaf to cover their absolute 
nakedness. Here you may see shops for pulverising 
coffee in immense mortars, which are struck alternately, 
with pestles like heavy maces, by men of great bodily 
strength, who keep time like smiths beating with the 
fore-hammer. Should the pestle not enter the mortar, 
but slide outwards, the man is probably lamed for life, 
or at least loses a couple of toes. The sherbet stalls and 
confectioner's shops in this street are unique, and in them 
may be seen the broad platter of honey pastry (kunafeh), 
and the sauce of pomegranate grains (hab-erraman), in its 
huge curiously carved and shining goblet, such as Hassan 
Bedreddin gave to the eunuch and Agib, when the old 
Yizier pitched his tents at the Meidan. 

The streets of Damascus have generally a mean ap- 
pearance. They are narrow, the houses built of mud, 
and, except in the principal thoroughfares, you never 


realize that you are in the capital of Syria, but suppose 
the place to be a large village. The light and air are 
excluded by the projecting windows, which are supported 
by unsightly beams of wood in the rough, and the streets 
are crooked and of unequal width : at one place two 
carriages might pass each other, and fifty paces farther on 
a single-loaded mule can with difficulty find an outlet. 
The pavement of the roadway is also very bad, so sunk 
in the middle, that, in wet weather, the track of the 
horses and mules is a pool of bespattering mud, while the 
foot-pavement is converted into a slough by the mud the 
rain sends down from the houses, there being neither 
drains nor scavengers to carry it away. Walking, in the 
rainy weather, is nearly impossible : the opulent ride on 
horseback, and the humbler classes, male and female, 
move about in pattens or in jack-boots. In summer, on 
the other hand, one is almost choked with dust. 

The suburban streets are more picturesque than those 
of the interior of the town. The rude bazaar shops are 
piled with coarse necessaries suited to the wants of the 
agricultural population of the environs ; there is a rough 
break-neck pavement, some of it half marble, and worn 
so smooth as to be as dangerous as ice to horses' feet; and 
a sprinkling of umbrageous walnut-trees, gives a rural 
look to the suburb. "Where trees are wanting, the fierce- 
ness of the sun is moderated by mats laid on a rude 
frame-work, and forming a roof which sometimes reaches 
across the street. A half -ruinous mosque, built with 
alternate courses of black marble and sienna-coloured 
stone, completes the picture. 

There are seventy-one mosques in Damascus for 

352 BATHS. 

preaching and reading the litany, and two hundred and 
forty-eight oratories for prayer only, besides many 
medresehs, or seminaries, which are richly endowed. 
The revenues are, however, in some instances, very 
slender, in consequence of the depreciation of the cur- 
rency ; for instance, a piece of land burdened with a 
payment of two hundred piastres, gave the equivalent of 
a hundred dollars at a time when two piastres were 
equal to a dollar ; but when twenty- two piastres came to 
represent a dollar, the same land gave the equivalent 
of nine dollars. The greater part of the bequests to the 
mosques and medresehs are misapplied, and are enjoyed 
by private individuals. Many of the mosques in the 
suburbs are in a ruinous condition, and most of the en- 
dowed schools are without professors or pupils. At the 
grand mosque of Beni Omeia three hundred young men 
were taught theology, jurisprudence, and literal Arabic. 
After the abolition of the Egyptian Nizam School there 
was no establishment in Damascus for teaching any of 
the modern sciences. The old Arabic astronomical books 
were still in vogue, and the Copernican theory of the 
earth moving round the sun was rejected as a heresy. 

The bath is one of the principal recreations of the 
place, but cannot be indulged in habitually without 
causing relaxation of the nervous system : once a week is 
quite often enough. The floors of the baths of Damascus 
are unique, in the East, from the parti-coloured marble 
with which they paved, the constant dashing of buckets 
of hot water over the surface bringing out the delicate 
hues and veins with great distinctness. 

The outer apartment in the Damascus baths is not 

BATHS. 353 

unlike a small mosque, for it has a capacious vaulted 
dome, with the light coming from the roof; a large foun- 
tain, bubbling up with cold water, occupies the centre ; 
ropes disposed in symmetrical angles reach across the 
apartment, and on these are suspended lines of towels 
which hang like the trophies in a chapel royal. Prostrate 
around, on platforms raised four feet high, are the men 
who have already bathed, who, wrapped up in towels, 
and sunk in a sort of lethargy, listlessly await an 
impulse to rise and dress. The proprietor, an old Moslem, 
sits in a sort of carved pulpit : on his right is a little box 
of piastres for change, and a place for the deposit of the 
watches and purses of the bathers ; on his left is a round 
hand-mirror, inlaid with mother-o' -pearl, which is pre- 
sented to every one, on his departure, to receive the 
gratuity for the use of the bath. The kahwazi is in 
constant occupation, blowing up the embers of the 
charcoal fire, or mixing mocha for the bathers as they 
come exhausted out of the inner apartments. The 
barber's boy, with his long black strap dangling at his 
waist, clatters backwards and forwards on his pattens, 
rubs and dries one, shaves the head of another, and 
with a pair of minute pincers tugs out the stray hairs 
from the nostril of a third. The half-naked dellak, or 
scrubber, comes reeking out of the inner apartment, and 
lounges against the fountain waiting his turn, dashes a 
brazen cup into the cold water and drinks it off, sure of 
being impervious to colds and sore throats, although 
exposing his body every five minutes to temperatures 
varying to the extent of thirty or forty degrees. The 
bathers, having doffed their clothes, and donned a towel 


for a petticoat, another for a turban, and thrown over 
their shoulders a third, which hangs like a Eoman 
toga, are mounted on pattens and piloted by the scrubber 
into the inner regions, where they undergo the process 
of cleansing, with a description of which we will not 
fatigue our readers, as they must have often read it be- 
fore. They are duly parboiled and flayed alive, but the 
disagreeable process is soon forgotten in the iced sherbet 
or coffee, and the narghile which await the traveller in 
the outer apartment when he has completed his bath. 

The cafes of Damascus, of which mention is frequently 
made, are devoid of decoration ; but if the house-painter, 
the carver, and the gilder have not been put in requisition 
(for nothing can be more primitive than the sheds, stools, 
and mats, for the accommodation of the coffee-drinkers), 
the abundance of rushing water, the luxuriant vegetation, 
and the bright colours of the dresses of the various 
groups of smokers and coffee-drinkers have all the 
attractive force of novelty to the European traveller. 
Attached to some of the cafes there is a public reader or 
reciter, generally an elderly man who has seen better 
days, and who has nothing left but a round, clear enun- 
ciation. The Tales of Antar, or the Adventures of AH 
Misry el Zeibuck from the Arabian Nights' Entertain- 
ment, are the common theme. The gains of a public 
reciter are very small, and these individuals sometimes 
increase their little income by working with a camlet- 
glove at the public baths. 

The houses of Damascus are generally in dismal streets, 
in which the projecting upper-floors exclude much light. 
A low door admits the visitor to a dark passage, at 


the end of which, there is a court yard, that, in the 
wealthier houses, is paved with polished marble of various 
colours, beautifully inlaid, a water-basin, overhung by 
orange and citron-trees, being in the centre. At one end 
there is a vaulted recess, called El-Eewan fitted up with 
a divan, and this recess, having a northern exposure, 
is never subject to the rays of the sun. As in Egypt, 
the ground-floor is of stone, painted in bands of white, 
blue, and red, which in combination with the rich dark- 
green vegetation of the parterres, divided by slabs of 
Carrara, produce a captivating effect. The principal 
apartment (for we are speaking of the houses of the 
wealthy) is on the ground floor, and is large, lofty, 
and of dazzling magnificence. The walls, which are of 
stone, are carved in arabesque forms, and there is usually 
a miniature recess of marble for drinking utensils and 
beverages, which are kept cool and remote from the heat 
of the outer air. This recess is usually distinguished by 
more florid ornaments than the rest. The raised floor 
is covered with a rich Persian carpet, and the divan that 
runs round the room is of satin embroidered with flowers. 
Large antique China-bowls are displayed on various 
shelves, and the often sought but rarely found splendour 
described in the " Arabian Nights' Entertainments," 
is better represented by the houses of the wealthy 
in Damascus than by anything else the traveller sees in 
the East. 

Every one of these large houses have two court-yards, 
the basin of water (in Damascus lahret, in other parts of 
Syria Urket) being in the inner one. In almost all the 
court-yards there are orange, lemon, or pomegranate 


trees ; but I know of only one house which contains a 
palm, the climate of winter being too cold for this tree. 
Flower-pots are generally placed around the water-basin, 
and in some of the larger houses there is a parterre, or an 
arbour of vines. The kaa } or principal apartment, is in 
winter uninhabitable, on account of the cold produced 
by the marble and the running water. The walls of the 
winter rooms of the good houses are paneled with wood, 
generally painted of dark colours, and intermingled with 
gilding, japan work, and small mirrors. 

The black stone used in the construction of houses in 
Damascus, comes from Kessueh; the white, which re- 
sembles marble, from Mezza and Salahieh; the black 
marble, which is not of good quality and can be used only 
in the shade, because when exposed to the sun it becomes 
whitish, from Cara, near Nebk ; the red marble from 
near Baalbek; the yellow stone from Aleppo; and the 
pure white marble from Italy. 

House-property in Damascus yields five per cent, in- 
terest, which is a small rate for Turkey. The Jews there- 
fore seldom purchase houses, because money, lent on 
mortgage on the security of title deeds, produces at least 
twelve, and even fifteen per cent., though some incon- 
venience even accompanies this investment. Although 
fires are very rare in Damascus from ordinary and 
accidental causes, yet there is no proper insurance system. 
Houses cannot be seized by ordinary creditors, except 
when the debtor dies a bankrupt; and hence it often 
happens that houses are held in the names of children. 
Christians sometimes hold their houses in the names of 
their wives, but Moslems never, from fear of divorce. 


The following are the antiquities which attracted my 
attention in Damascus : 

Bab Sharki, the Eastern gate which is of Eoman con- 

A portion of the Mosque of Omeia, consisting of a gate 
and a pediment which shoots up above the roof, both of 
them probably of the fourth century. The lower part of 
the mosque belongs evidently to a much earlier period. 

The entrance of the Maristan, or Madhouse, constructed 
by Nureddin and Saladin, and the management of which 
gave Kalaon the idea of the Moristan of Cairo, is one of 
the most picturesque fragments in Damascus, having the 
rich ornamentation of the later Eoman period, which 
Palladio took up more than a thousand years afterwards. 
This is the only portion of an ancient edifice which the 
architects of Nureddin and Saladin left standing. But, 
unconscious of congruity, they have filled up the spaces in 
the upper part with the stalactite ornaments for which 
the Saracenic style is distinguished; and the ages of 
Diocletian and Saladin are mingled, if not with purity, 
at least with a piquancy that excites the liveliest curiosity 
in the archaBological student. 

Twenty pillars sunk in the walls of houses in the 
Patrackeey, or " Patriarchate," which manifestly must 
have belonged to an edifice of great extent. 

The Cannouat Conduit, and the hydraulic system of 
Damascus generally, no doubt dating from a very remote 
period of Syrian history. 

Two Eoman Arches within the town, the one called 
" Caradis," or il Carathis " already mentioned, and the 
other in the Sook-el-Alabeey. 


Fragments of antique columns and walls in various 
other places of secondary importance and too numerous 
to be stated in detail. 

The Damascenes consider themselves, on the double 
ground of being Moslems and Arabs, as the noblest race 
in the world, and they regard the government of the 
Sultan as the first in rank, not because he is Malek-er- 
Koum, or sovereign of the Greek Empire, but because he 
is the Caliph, or successor of Mohammed. One of the 
titles of the Sultan is Sultan-el-Salateen, or "King of 

The Governor of Damascus was a Mushir, or Pasha of 
three tails, and in rank came immediately after those of 
the Holy Cities, Egypt, Roumelia, and Bagdad. His 
income was 100,000 piastres per month, or between ten 
and eleven thousand pounds a year. The income of 
Sherif Pasha, who was civil governor in the time of the 
Egyptians, was 12,000 a year, and with rations and 
allowances worth two thousand a year more. 

After the expulsion of the Egyptians, the government 
of Syria was assimilated to that of the other provinces 
of the Ottoman Empire; the ancient system of farming 
the revenue to the Pasha having been abolished. 

The Kiahya, or deputy, ranked next to the Pasha 
in the affairs of government; in matters of law and 
finance the Cadi, the Mufti, and the Defterdar were su- 
preme. The Kiahya was at the same time the Mutsellim, 
or governor, of the City of Damascus, an arrangement 
introduced since the expulsion of the Egyptians. All 
the details of the government were in the hands of the 
Kiahya, who only referred to the Pasha the most important 


matters. The Kiahya's deputies usually negotiated and 
received the bribes. 

The Tufenkchi bashi, or head of the musqueteers, was 
the superintendent of police and gaoler of the town. 
Prisoners of distinction were put in the barracks under 
guard of a colonel. The Tufenkchi bashi had one 
hundred musqueteers under his orders. 

At the head of the financial department is the Defter- 
dar, who collects the taxes, controls the expenditure, 
and raises or diminishes the salaries of the inferior officers 
of government as he sees fit. The Pasha cannot increase 
the irregular troops without the permission of the Defter- 
dar a question that is often agitated, for in a country 
like Syria, exposed to the incursions of the Arabs, regular 
troops are of little use except in garrison towns. The 
will of the Pasha was under the old system supreme ; 
but the management of the finances is now exclusively 
in the hands of the Defterdar. A deadly hatred and 
rivalry generally exists between these persons. 

When government property was leased to the highest 
bidder by the Egyptians the lessee received a document 
which guaranteed his possession at the sum and for the 
period stipulated ; and as long as the rent was paid the 
terms of the lease were respected ; but now if a man be 
supposed to gain more than his rent the lease is broken, 
and the Defterdar gives up the property to some one who 
will give a larger sum. The revenues of the Pashalic of 
Damascus were about 200,000 a year; but this included 
the income of Jerusalem, etc., which was separated politi- 
cally, but not financially, from Damascus. 

The Cadi is sent from the college of Ulema at Con- 


stantinople for a year, but is sometimes allowed to stay a 
few months longer. His income is derived from the 
fortieth part of all sums in dispute, paid by the gainer, 
as well as fees on leases, agreements, and successions. 
If a man die a bankrupt, the Cadi takes a para per piastre 
(one-fortieth) on the property left, and the same from 
each creditor on making the dividend. The legal income 
of the Cadi is very slender, but the actual revenue from 
the sale of justice is about four thousand a year. The 
Cadi can put women in prison, which the Pasha cannot 
do; nor can the Pasha free from prison a man incar- 
cerated by the Cadi. Most Cadis have but little religion : 
even Mohammed used to say, " Cadi lil jennet Cadiayn 
lil nar," " One Cadi goes to heaven, and two to hell." 

The Medjlis, or council, takes cognizance of public and 
private abuses, as well as of all matters not strictly within 
the province of the law ; but as it is entirely under the 
control of the Pasha and Defterdar, it can take up no 
petition except by their permission, and its decision may 
be set aside by them, it is of little weight. The Egyp- 
tian council was much more independent of Sherif Pasha, 
and formed a check upon him. 

Since the above was written, the administration has 
been entirely remodelled; all Syria being one Yilayet 
(" country or land"), meaning thereby a province with a 
bureaucratic centralization under a governor-general, and 
much copying the forms of European monarchies. 




THE Damascenes are certainly a handsome race ; their 
complexions are paler than those of the inhabitants of 
the South of France and Italy. They are a much finer 
race than the Aleppines, but are surpassed by the natives 
of Tripoli. Formerly there were many blind and one-eyed 
persons among them, in consequence of the ravages of 
smallpox ; but the Ulema decreed that inoculation was 
neither unclean nor unlawful, and the present generation 
have much better eyes than the former. The darkest 
complexioned people in the pashalic (not reckoning the 
Bedouins) are the Turcomans of Kanneytra and the people 
of the Hauran. There are few persons with fair hair ; 
and fat, dark-complexioned beauties are most admired. 

The age of steam, which is the age of gold for 
England, has proved the age of iron for Damascus, 
which may be called a city of hand-loom weavers. 
And yet Damascus enjoys a green old age, and, in spite of 
the complaints of diminished incomes, there is still a 
great deal of Arab comfort in the city. One sees few rags, 
and no crowds of squalid dingy fellaheen, as in Egypt : 
Moslems, Christians, and Jews, all seem decently dressed. 

VOL. ii. 24 


Although European manufactures have injured the native 
weavers, so far as regards cotton goods, all attempts to 
imitate the striped silk-stuffs which form the robes of the 
men have been unsuccessful. 

Of all Sultan Mahmoud's reforms, the most odious was 
the change from the Oriental to the European costume. 
This strikes us nowhere so forcibly as in Damascus. "What 
a pleasing sensation steals over the European when he first 
walks down the bazaars of the city. The light, softened 
and mellowed like that of a church-aisle, falls gently on 
a glittering mass of costly stuffs, flowing robes, 
picturesque pistols and daggers, and horse garniture ; 
and how completely in harmony with this rich still 
life is the stately Damascene, who sits at the further 
extremity of the carpet, how clean his turban, how 
graceful and decent his apparel ! 

Nearly all the Damascenes dress in the old Oriental 
fashion; a few adopt the Egyptian Nizam costume, but 
only the Spahis wear the Nizam dress of Constantinople. 
The turbans of the Christians are black, blue, or brown, 
with sometimes a stripe of Cashmere shawl. In winter 
the men, in walking the street, use pattens. The women, 
within doors, are very fond of high handsome pattens, 
some of which, inlaid with silver and mother-o'-pearl, 
cost as much as 5 a pair : those ordinarily worn cost a 
dollar. None but Moslems, and a few privileged Christians 
in the employment of the Government, wear yellow shoes. 

Provisions in Damascus are abundant and excellent. 
The Moslems breakfast an hour after sunrise, on one or 
two dishes, brought ready cooked from the bazaars, such 
as boiled sheep's heads and trotters, with vinegar and 


parsley or garlic, boiled beans, sweetmeats, fried eggs, 
cheese, rice, etc. At mid-day they eat little or nothing. 
Dinner, which is taken two hours before sunset, is gene- 
rally cooked at home, and consists of vegetables of 
all sorts, dressed with flesh, roast meat, and, last of all, 
rice. In winter they sometimes eat a light supper of 
rice, meat, and sweetmeats. They have certain rules with 
reference to fruit; for instance, apricots and grapes are 
eaten after dinner, and mulberries never in the morning. 
The Christians usually make a hearty meal at mid-day, 
and dine at sunset. 

Goat's milk is more used than that of the cow ; and 
the milkman, instead of going round with his pails, 
brings his goat to the door of his customer, and there 
draws the quantity required from the pap of the animal. 
The curdled milk and clotted cream of Damascus are 
excellent. There is a great abundance of butter, which 
comes from the Hauran and elsewhere. Sheep's butter 
is whiter, and sells a trifle dearer than cow's butter. 
The tobacco smoked in Damascus comes mostly from the 
vicinity of Anti-Lebanon. The pipe ordinarily used is 
the snake narghile. Opium is never indulged in, but 
hasheesh, or hemp, is smoked in a cafe frequented by 
Mogrebbins and Egyptians. 

The Moslem women never put rouge on their cheeks, 
but they black their eyes with kohl. The use of rouge 
among the Christian women is almost universal. Henna 
is also used for dyeing the nails of both Christian and 
Moslem women, and is supposed by many to be a febri- 
fuge. The lady of the house, instead of being its mistress, 
is more like the servant of the upper servants. The 


birth of a female infant is considered a misfortune, and 
even the midwife tells the mother a falsehood as to the 
sex of the child, representing it to be a boy, lest the dis- 
appointment should prove fatal in her weak state. Ac- 
couchement in Damascus lasts eight days, in Lebanon 
fifteen ; so that the cold appears to make a difference. 

Male servants are a most indolent, loitering class, and 
do little else than go messages and fill narghiles. There 
are a few male Greek slaves in Damascus, and a few 
female Circassians. Abyssinians and negroes, male and 
female, are numerous : some are brought from Egypt, 
but many from Mecca, along with the returning pilgrims, 
having been first taken there from Senaar and Abyssinia, 
by way of Djidda. There are very few eunuchs in 

In the environs there are a few gipsies. The Arabs 
divide all mankind, except gipsies, into two classes 
Bedoo, inhabitants of the desert, and Haddar, which 
means sometimes civilized, but generally Non-Bedouin. 
The gipsies are neither Bedoo nor Haddar, for they 
neither dwell in the cities nor in the desert, but in the 
environs of the cities, and on the borders of the desert. 
They set out on their travels exactly at noon, and pre- 
tend to be Moslems, but their hour of departure has 
induced a belief that they worship the sun. Their 
languages are Turkish, Arabic, and Gipsy; but they 
speak Turkish better than Arabic. The Aga appointed 
by the government to collect their tax is called the Aga 
of the Hashargian. Ibrahim Pasha tried to settle them, 
but in vain. The proper Arabic name for them is Nowar. 

The beggars' usual formula in appeal is Allah 


yejbor be haterak ya fa'al-el-khair, "May God ac- 
complish thy wishes, doer of good." A Christian 
beggar near my house asked for alms in the name of 
the Yirgin Mary ; a Moslem near the grand mosque 
apostrophised the passengers with, Ahsan by Yillah 
taly wu Moulana Mohammed Emir el Morseleen, "Assist 
me for the sake of the Most High, and of our Lord 
Mohammed, the Prince of the Apostles." 

Although the Damascenes are generally very ignorant 
of history, geography, et hoc genus omne, they are 
shrewd merchants, expert arithmeticians, and ingenious 
handicraftsmen, notwithstanding several of their manu- 
factures have become extinct, that of the renowned 
Damascene blades having been removed, as most of my 
readers know, to Persia centuries ago. The manufacture 
of Damascene porcelain, specimens of which the traveller 
may see in the seraglio of Constantinople and the mosque 
of Sunnaneey, in Damascus, expired in the latter half of the 
eighteenth century. The still surviving arts and manu- 
factures for which Damascus is famous, are household 
painting, with harmonizing contrasts in colour, the sculp- 
ture of honeycombs and stalactites in marble, carving, 
gilding, and Japan work, Mosaic pavements, handloom- 
weaving of the silk and cotton stuffs used in under 
garments, which the power looms cannot imitate, and the 
currying of yellow leather. 

The richest merchants are those engaged in the 
Bagdad trade. One of these men died, leaving a for- 
tune of 300,000, but few of the present merchants have 
a tenth of that sum. 

Every trade and profession has a sheikh, who ex- 

366 TRADES. 

ercises authority over its members : even the beggars 
have a sheikh. This jurisdiction aids the police in their 
researches. The sheikh gives legal opinions with 
reference to the craft. If a dyer, for instance, burns 
cloth entrusted to him, the sheikh assesses the damage. 
His income is derived from fees paid by workmen who 
wish to become masters, from the sales of goodwills 
of businesses, and from contracts and dissolutions of 
partnership, etc. The sheikh of the gold- and silver- 
smiths takes 2J per cent, on all jewellery and plate sold 
by auction in the bazaars, he being responsible for their 

Tanners and curriers are esteemed honourable, and in 
some processions they take the precedence of merchants. 
No Christian is allowed to enter the craft. The only 
glue-makers in Syria are those of Damascus, and their 
guild is peculiarly constituted, being a close corporation, 
into which no stranger enters. The materials are 
purchased in common and redistributed according to the 
number of mouths in a family to be fed. Thus a bachelor 
gets only a limited amount of material. The profit of 
the glue-makers is several hundred per cent. 

The comforts of civilized existence are as abundant in 
Damascus as in any other large Arab town, either in 
Syria, or on the Tigris, in Egypt, or in Morocco, that is, 
speaking with reference to Oriental manners and customs. 
The Arabic dialect of Damascus is considered to be next 
in purity to that of the Hedjas ; but the literary 
knowledge of the Ulema, even within the limits of 
Arabic literature, is much less extensive than that of 
the Ulema at Cairo. In the latter capital the presence of 


the army of Bonaparte produced merely temporary 
results, Frank science being so associated with. Frank 
domination, that it was held in detestation ; but the 
vigorous blows which Mohammed AH perseveringly 
aimed at Moslem fanaticism, followed up as they were 
by the overland transit, and the extension of steam 
and railway communications, have without extirpating 
the fanaticism of sincere Moslems, or the contempt they 
have for what they call " non-believers," in reality 
produced quite a revolution. 

Damascus presents a strong contrast to Egypt in all 
these respects. It was well on in the first half of the 
19th century, before a Frank dared show himself in his 
native costume in Damascus, and the British Consul 
General, Mr. Farren, has the merit of having carried this 
point by his energetic conduct, infusing a considerable 
respect for the British name in the city. His successor, 
Mr. Merry, was much milder with Sheref Pasha, and 
did everything by conciliation. But the Egyptian 
government had settled down into the possession of 
Syria, and, holding the town in terrorem, at the same 
time that they, were anxious to gain the applause of the 
European powers for the protection of the Franks, no 
reasonable claim for redress was set aside, it being all- 
important for Mohammed Ali to get, if possible, the 
positive or negative acquiescence of the five European 
powers in his project for the annexation of Syria. 

For all this, Damascus remained, in contrast to Cairo, 
to a great extent a stranger to Frank-knowledge. Mo- 
hammed Ali attempted a sort of Gymnasium, which he 
called the Nizam-school, but the leading people in the 


town withheld their sons from all attendance. The 
pupils were, therefore, an inferior class of Syrians 
whom it was intended ultimately to absorb into the army 
and the civil administration. After the departure of the 
Egyptians, medical science was, of course, at a very low 
ebb. One of the physicians in most repute was a 
certain Abou Aody-el-Tinawy, whom Nedjib Pasha 
wished to make a proto-medicos, as the head of the 
doctors is sometimes called. He was formerly the 
stoker of a bath ; but, being a shrewd man, got into 
good practice. When a patient presented himself, 
he would say, " "What is your name ? " Answer, 
for instance, " Halil." "And your father's name?" 
" Cassim." "Your mother's name?" " Fatimeh." 
He then calculated a number for each of these names, 
found out some conjunction of stars, felt the man's pulse, 
looked at his tongue, and after having made a short 
excursion through the signs of the Zodiac, out came the 
infallible recipe ! Another worthy cured husbands of 
jealousy, and wives of wandering thoughts. By ad- 
ministering to the lady some of the water of an ape, her 
paramour is supposed to become hideous and baboonish 
to her mind's eye. 

The Damascene Moslems, being Fatalists, take no 
precautions against the plague, even a recent work on 
Contagion, printed at Constantinople, and approved by 
the Sheikh- el-Islam, is despised. Then, what is the use 
of medicine? people will say. In Damascus there are 
two current opinions one, that medicine is not in itself 
of any avail, but that God introduces healing qualities 
into it when administered; the other, that God, in 


certain cases, sends an angel to prevent the medicine 
from working favourably. Blood is never let on a Friday, 
nor does one sick person visit another on that day, it 
being considered unlucky ; and no physician visits a 
patient on Wednesday. Some other superstitions are not 
less ridiculous. If a house be swept after sunset, it is 
supposed to bring poverty on its inmates. If the corpse 
of a person who has died in the same street be carried 
past the door of a Damascene, the pavement in front 
must be sprinkled with salt and water to prevent bad 
fortune. When a corpse is about to be buried, the 
white cloth that covers the face is laid aside ; if not, the 
stone laid over the body is supposed to perspire, and 
every drop of the moisture kills one of the relations. 

When I was in Damascus, the most eminent medical 
men were an Egyptian Moslem, and a Greek Catholic, 
Dr. Meshaka, a man of most powerful natural talents, 
who had carefully studied the books on medicine and 
science issued from Mehemet Ali's press at Boulak. Dr. 
Meshaka spoke no European language, but he compre- 
hended everything connected with European civilization 
with a facility that was quite astonishing. One day I took 
up the Quarterly Review, in which was a criticism on 
Liebig's Animal Chemistry, and in my defective Arabic 
I attempted to make him understand it ; but so search- 
ingly had he, unaided, looked into the mysteries of 
nature, that he confirmed most of the propositions by 
anecdotes from his own personal experience. 

Several Frank medical men have attempted to es- 
tablish themselves in Damascus, but without success. 
The natives think they do not know the climate (Hawa- 


el-belled lit., the air of the town) and the local 
diseases. I must say that the individual I have men- 
tioned above was most successful in his treatment of 
fever, dysentery, and several other disorders; but, 
knowing nothing of anatomy, he left surgery to the 

The dysenteries are produced by eating unripe fruit, 
and exposure of the feet to the marble pavements. 
Sore throats are frequent in consequence of the currents 
of air to which persons are subjected in coming out 
of the bath, and all sorts of rheumatism prevail in con- 
sequence of the humidity of the climate. In seasons of 
much fruit there is a great deal of fever and ague. It* 
appears, from experience, that, of all places in Syria, 
bleeding has the most effect in Damascus. 

All religious ceremonies connected with Islamism are 
punctually gone through, and the departure of the 
Mecca caravan is the greatest day in the calendar of the 
Damascenes. It is, however, a very singular fact that, 
while the people of Cairo (in other respects disciplined 
to tolerance) used to maltreat the Christians and Franks 
who dared to look on at the departure of the African 
pilgrims, the Damascenes, on the contrary, gave every 
encouragement to Christian spectators, in the hope that 
the pomp and solemnity of the scene might induce them 
to embrace Islamism. In the first year of Ibrahim 
Pasha's occupation of Syria, the more fanatical of the 
Egyptians maltreated several Christian spectators ; but, 
in the following year, Shereef Pasha issued orders which 
insured the continuance of the milder usage. 

For a month before the departure of the caravan, the 


streets of Damascus are crowded with wanderers from the 
Black, the Caspian, and the Aral seas, from the bracing 
breezes of the Caucasus, the pestilential vapours of the 
Oxus, and the still remoter regions of Samarcand. 
Religious motives weigh with many, but not with all. 
Commerce, with its excitements and advantages, gives 
an impetus to the Hadge, but for which it might, long 
before this, have fallen into partial disuetude, and been 
placed in the category of duties inconsistent with the 
extension of Islamism to new climes, and to places 
unknown to the Prophet even by name. The daggers of 
Khorassen are exchanged for the silks of Damascus. 
The camel that carries to Mecca the rice for the south- 
ward journey, returns with the coffee of Mocha. In the 
Hedjas horses are scarce and dear, camels are plentiful 
and cheap. The humble Hadgi rides to Mecca on a horse 
which he sells for the double of its purchase- money, and 
returns back on a camel which he has bought for three 
hundred piastres and sells in the Meidan for a thousand. 
In Damascus such was the traffic, that it put one in 
mind of a Leipsic fair. The gold gazzi, the legal value 
of which is twenty-one piastres, rose to twenty -five ; 
but, when the Hadge had gone, it rapidly fell again. 
The duties of hospitality to the Hadgis are incumbent on 
the Damascenes, without being grievous or burdensome, 
for the host has a right to 2| per cent, on all that the 
pilgrim buys or sells. The wealthier merchants are 
usually the Persians. 

The first proceeding, after the arrival of the Aleppo 
caravan, is to hold a divan, which is attended by the 
Pasha, the Emir-el-Hadge, the Sur Emini, a treasurer of 


the Porte, the Cadi, the Mufti, and the Adsan of the 
town, for the purpose of hiring camels. This is no 
trifling affair ; for besides four thousand horses, the 
Hadge requires upwards of eight thousand camels. The 
usual hire of a camel from here to Mecca is three 
thousand piastres; the four Mokaymeen, or camel- 
contractors, begin by asking three thousand five hundred 
piastres, on which the Ayan takes a piece of paper, and, 
putting down all the items of the camel's expense- 
barley, water, drivers, attendants, etc. points out the 
fall of prices, and, after a full hearing of arguments on 
both sides, the bargain is concluded. 

The ceremonies previous to the departure of the 
Hadge commence on a Wednesday. At the Asr, or hour 
of afternoon prayer, the green banner of the Prophet- is 
conveyed from the old castle to the mosque of the 
Sangiacdar, and thence after prayer to the seraglio. 
The Pasha, on the approach of the banner, descends 
the steps, divests himself of his shoes, and, advancing, 
receives from the Sangiacdar the sacred emblem, for 
which he gives a formal receipt. Having kissed the 
banner, he carries it on his shoulder up the steps, while 
a salute of cannon is fired. 

On the following day the Hadge takes its departure 
with great pomp, the sight of which, in the magnilo- 
quent language of the country, is enough to burst the 
gall-bladder of a lion. The town is astir by daybreak. 
The Durweesheey, the Tarik-el-Mustakeem (the Straight- 
street), and other thoroughfares leading to the Meidan 
are thronged with spectators in their holiday clothes, 


and encumbered with camels receiving their loads of 
provender, or gay litters and their tenants, and the 
religious end of their journey is forgotten in the bustle 
and impatience of its commencement. 

From eight until eleven o'clock the street presents 
one unbroken line of loaded camels and irregular cavalry, 
which with difficulty thread their way through the throng 
of people, while the roofs of the houses and the numerous 
mosques are as crowded as the causeway. Water is the 
summum lonum in the East. Ever and anon come a 
group of water-carriers, on whose shoulders stands a 
sheikh, supporting himself by leaning on long poles held 
up for his service. Artillery, drawn by pairs of camels, 
unused to any exertion but that of bearing heavy burdens, 
and as impatient of draught as of working together, 
alternately amuse and terrify the spectators with their 
uncouth restiveness and fearful zigzag motions, so dif- 
ferent from their accustomed stately measured pace. 
Troops of Kurds (the Cossacks of Turkey), with their 
long formidable lances, and barbarous but picturesque 
accoutrements and caparisons, follow the artillery. Pre- 
ceded by a regiment of Spahis a singular object ap- 
proaches the Mahmel, a camel of the most gigantic 
stature to be found in the East, saddled with a crate- 
frame, which is covered with a cloth of green silk, 
embroidered in gold and silver, reaching almost to the 
feet of the animal. This covering, which was made in 
Cairo, during the first year of the Egyptian invasion, to 
replace the former one, which had disappeared after 
the revolt against Mohammed Selim Pasha, cost six 
hundred purses, or something less than three thousand 


pounds. Next follow the Sangiac, or banner, and, after 
it, the Ayan of the town, and the procession is closed 
by the Sur Emini and the Emir-el-Hadge. 

By ancient usage only three individuals can employ 
mules to carry their litter, or takterwan as it is called 
the Emir-el-Hadge, his Kiahia, and the Sur Emini, who 
is the bearer of the ten thousand purses which the Sultan 
expends on the pilgrims : the other litters are suspended 
between two camels. The third Sultana performed the 
pilgrimage in a European carriage, the road from here to 
Mecca being perfectly level. It was certainly the first 
carriage that ever went to Mecca, and the third ever 
seen in Damascus, the two first having been those of 
Shereef Pasha and Mr. Consul- General Farren. The 
Sultana did not appear in the procession I have described. 

Five hundred camels are assigned for the personal 
service of the Emir-el-Hadge, and these, by a legal fic- 
tion, in order to keep their number complete, are never 
supposed to die, and are fed from the proceeds of property 
entailed for this purpose. Each pair of camels has an 
akkam, or leader, who receives five hundred piastres 
from the contractor for his trouble in going to Mecca ; 
and every ten camels have a feeder, who receives a 
hundred. The Djammal, or camel-driver, and the tent- 
men receive a hundred piastres from the Hadgi for the 
journey ; and then come on the backshishes, likewise 
fixed by ancient usage. The journey to Mecca lasts 
forty days, and at the end of each fifth day pilgrims 
and beasts of burden have a complete rest of twenty-four 
hours. There are thus seven rests, at each of which the 
Hadgi gives to the akkam and the other attendants 


twenty piastres, or more generally a gold gazzi ; he 
supplies the akkam with a certain amount of food, but 
not the others. The cloth which covers the litter is the 
perquisite of the akkam. 

The first complete resting place of the caravan is 
Mezareib, where the contracts are concluded with the 
Arabs for protection and immunity from subsequent 
exactions. The rest of the journey is made in winter 
without difficulty. But when the revolution of the 
Moslem cycle brings the month of Shawal to Midsummer 
the fatigue is dreadful. In the daytime some die of 
sunstroke ; in the night others, in a state of somno- 
lence, produced by the peculiar motion of the camel, 
imagine that they are in the bath, and strip themselves 
of their clothes, which are picked up by the Arabs. 
Three days before their arrival at Medina they are met 
by the caravan of succour. It is beyond my province 
to describe the ceremonies at Mecca: it must suffice 
to say that the Pasha, before entering that city, takes off 
his Frank clothes and dresses in the Oriental costume. 

The Damascenes consider it quite wonderful and un- 
accountable that there should exist any men who are not 
Moslems. A Christian said to me one day, " A dog is 
certainly more respected than a Christian in Damascus," 
for if a Moslem said to a Christian in the street, " Carry 
this parcel home for me," and the Christian refused, the 
Moslem would strike him, and the bystanders, without 
asking the cause, would also strike him ; but if a Moslem 
struck a dog or an ass, all the people would cry out 
u haram,'' i.e. " unlawful." In speaking of a dog, a 
latrina, or anything unclean, the Moslems say, "Agel-lak 


Allah,'' " God raise you above such a thing." In men- 
tioning a Christian or a Jew by name, the same phrase 
is used. When a Moslem, in crossing Mount Lebanon, 
hears the convent bells, or sees a Bishop riding on horse- 
back, he says, " God, this is abominable, we do not 
accept of it, but we cannot do away with it." (Allah 
Noma fe haza munkeron la nerda b' he mu la nukdar ala 

The Christians of Damascus being in a state of ignominy 
and oppression, great allowances must be made for them. 
They are humble and good-natured. Theft, violence, or 
intemperance, are very rare ; but fraudulent bankruptcy 
is frequent, and scarcely considered a disgrace. Many 
of the poor and ignorant are superstitious, and try to 
obtain talismans against the evil eye, recipes for finding 
treasure, and pieces of poetry to charm away bugs. Not 
being allowed to hold lauds, they are all engaged 
in trade and manufactures. The Moslems of Damascus, 
if they travel abroad, go to Egypt, Constantinople, 
and Smyrna ; but the Christians only to Egypt, where 
many of them succeed, and gain a competency. The 
Aleppine Christians in Egypt are not so successful, for 
the Egyptians prefer the humble manners of the Damas- 
cenes to the shrewd self-sufficiency of the Aleppines. 
On the other hand, some Aleppines have made fortunes 
in Constantinople. 

The Egyptian occupation was the golden age of the 
Christians. After the restoration of Syria to the Sultan, 
the old fanaticism was revived in full force by Nedjib 
Pasha. He began by filling the town council with the 
most intolerant persons in the place. The two representa- 


tatives of the Christians, men of some wealth, were pur- 
posely selected for their timidity and incapacity. The 
first subject of the deliberations of this assembly was 
a proposal to compel the Christians to return to their 
ancient state of bondage and ignominy, prohibiting 
them from wearing a white turban, mounting a horse, 
or begirding themselves with a cord instead of a sash 
or shawl. While these propositions were being dis- 
cussed, the Christian representatives sat in silence, fear, 
and trembling. 

The fanatical character of Kedjib Pasha soon showed 
itself. He declared publicly that he wished to have no 
Christian clerks in the Seraglio, and that he detested the 
Giaours. This feeling was soon caught by those around 
him. A young Christian went on some business to his 
Kiahia, who asked him, on entering, if he was a Christian, 
or a Moslem. " I am a Christian" said the young man. 
""Well then," said the Kiahia, "You must take off 
that white turban before I can transact any business 
with you." 

The character of the Christian representatives men 
without ideas, or at any rate the faculty of expressing 
them was a sufficient guarantee that they would attempt 
no opposition in the Council to the fanatical feeling of the 
majority. Suleyman Effendi, and some others, gave a 
proof of their notions of freedom of debate, by stating 
that, had opposition been offered by the Christian repre- 
sentatives, they would have been sent to prison for their 
temerity. Nor were other indications wanting of what 
was to be expected. One morning there were some 
Christians waiting in the outer yard to transact business, 

VOL. ii. 25 


when an officer told them to go away. They answered 
that they were waiting to see the governor. The officer 
again sternly ordered them to retire, saying that the 
Pasha would shortly pass through, and that the sight of 
Giaours so early in the morning affected his digestion. 

This treatment of the Christians rendered Nedjib 
Pasha very popular with the fanatical party. The 
regime of his successor AH Pasha was milder. 

The porters of the khans of Damascus are almost all 
Indian Moslems from "Western India, who find their 
way here via either Mecca or Bagdad, and have the 
monopoly of the office of porter. They have even a 
mosque and a wukaf, or foundation, endowed by the 
piety of some Indian iD former times, over which a 
Nazir or inspector presides. Sometimes a Pagan Indian 
pretends to be a Moslem, in order to receive charity from 
the foundation, but he is rejected by the scrutinizing 
inspector. All are under British protection, but the 
fanatical Dervishes never approach the Consulate, and, in 
the midst of so excitable a population, it is not con- 
sidered expedient to compel them to recognize the British 

The life of one of the leading Effendis of Damascus 
may be described as follows prayers at sunrise, with 
the usual ablutions; in the forenoon, business with his 
Mobashir, or the steward of his landed property, or with 
his clerk, or with merchants or other persons with whom 
he is in pecuniary relations ; prayers in the mosque at 
noon, that of Omeiah being preferred if it is not too far 
off ; sleep in the earlier portion of the afternoon ; visits 
of a less important nature, such as that of Ulema, and 


gossips connected with theological literature or law; 
dinner, two hours before sunset; a short promenade, 
either on foot or on horseback, for the purpose of paying 
a visit (for a walk or ride is seldom taken for the sake of 
exercise), followed by a Sehra, or Soiree, literally "wake." 
At the Sehra there is generally a mixed company, for, 
from a desire to keep up their popularity, the Effendis 
tolerate the society of some of the most turbulent 
characters in the "Harat," or quarter; and, in conse- 
quence of the weakness of the government, the influential 
men in the different quarters can get up a mob at the 
shortest notice, although the government has always the 
upper hand in the long run. 

The reception-room is on the ground floor in the outer 
court-yard, the inner apartments being exclusively occu- 
pied by the harem. A divan, which runs round three 
sides of the room, is occupied by visitors, who drop in 
after evening prayer, and separate about eleven. Parallel 
with the divan is a row of snake-like looking narghiles, 
with handsomely ornamented silver heads, to contain live 
coals for the convenience of the smokers. Brass candle- 
sticks, three feet high, stand in the centre space, and it 
consequently requires some address on the part of a 
visitor to make his way to his place, without knocking 
down what looks like a scheme of nine-pins. The res- 
pectable people sit at the top of the room, between 
the two corners, the disorderly characters being on the 
side divans, near the door. Every guest, on arrival, is 
served with coffee, but some neighbours bring their own 
narghiles with them. The tall black slave, when not 
engaged in handing round coffee, or bringing a fresh 


supply, indulges in whispering and familiarity with the 
cut-throats in the lower regions. 

The conversation at the soirees is of a general nature. 
Such a man is in arrear with the Defterdar, or treasurer ! 
The Pasha said so and so, on such an occasion ! The 
locusts in the Hauran are eating up the corn, and bread 
will be dear ! Ought Damascus, which, as a Holy City, 
is exempt from the capitation tax, to pay the tax of 
its own free will ? etc. 

Not only does smoking last throughout all the soirees, 
but the conversation is frequently impregnated with 
allusions to this habit. I was once asked " whether the 
Queen of England smoked a chibouque or narghile ?" and 
when I answered, " neither the one nor the other," the 
rejoinder was, " Adjaib !" (wonderful !). On another oc- 
casion I was present at a discussion on the scarcity of 
gold coins, in consequence of the large importations of 
British manufactures and the want of cargoes from Syria. 
11 Make your silk short reel instead of long reel," said I, 
11 and we will take more than your mulberries can pro- 
duce. Then, you cannot expect us to take the bad 
cotton of Syria, when we can get the good cotton of 
Egypt and America." 

" The balance of trade could easily be redressed by 
Timbeck," said an old Bagdad merchant smiling. 
"Every lady in Syria wears some article of British 
manufacture; and if every lady in England were to 
return the compliment by smoking a little Timbeck, we 
could pay for our women's dresses with produce, and 
the exchange on England would fall to its natural 


Of street spectacles, one of the most ordinary is a 
Circumcision procession. In front walks a man with 
comic solemnity of expression, well dressed, but with 
bare legs, swinging a sabre round his head, and tapping 
with it a target which he holds in his left hand. He 
is followed by a battalion of young Moslems with long 
quarter-staves, the game of which is kept up with 
great spirit in Damascus, the professors attaining such 
expertness in it, that neither swordsmen nor lancers 
can cope with them. The large drums are beaten with 
sticks, but the smaller ones with a piece of hardened 
leather. The drummers are mostly blind men. Last of 
all comes a camel, splendidly decorated with scarlet 
cloth, fringes, and gold lace, on which the boy who is 
to be operated upon is mounted. The procession stops 
at every turn of the street to witness a ballet and mock 

Among the Christians, the usual festivals of Christmas 
and Easter are observed, and many others besides. In 
the beginning of April, on the festival of St. Lazarus, 
the custom prevails of giving to the children suits of new 
clothes. The richest Christian females in the country, 
being without education and intercourse with the world, 
centre all their ambition in finery, which they dis- 
play on holiday occasions. Behold, on St. Lazarus' 
day, a lady with a crimson jacket embroidered with gold, 
printed cotton trousers, and red morocco shoes, a turban, 
from which escape plaited tresses reaching to her waist, 
cheeks covered with rouge, eyes which derive a 
meretricious lustre from kohl. The possessor of all this 
finery, squatted on a divan, and smoking a narghile, 


presents as whimsical a contrast to our idea of a wife and 
a mother as can well be conceived. 

Easter is religiously observed by the Christians of 
Damascus. Nothing can be more strict than the manner 
in which they keep Lent. The Greeks do not even eat 
fish, and Easter Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, make a 
greater epoch, as the French would say, than either 
Christmas or New Year's Day in England. 

Every master of a house who furnishes himself with 
new divans, selects the season of the Easter visits for 
their display. Even when nothing new is purchased, 
the houses are scrubbed and turned topsy-turvy. Bugs 
and spiders have a poor time of it before Easter. The 
flock, when taken out of the divans, is not carded but 
softened, and opened by a process I never saw before. 
A beam about five feet long, in the form of the bow of a 
violoncello, is held in the left hand of the workman, who 
with his right hand drives the catgut into the flock. 
The machine rebounds from the ground with a twanging 
noise, detaching a portion of flock until all is softened. 

On Easter Sunday, all the Christians are decked out in 
their best clothes. The men have new pelisses, body 
robes, outer and inner slippers. In the case of the few 
who wear the white turban, or the shawl round the 
waist, a change of these garments is not considered 
indispensable. The women renew those parts of their 
dress that are changeable, and put on all their costly 
hereditary robes and ornaments, which are preserved 
with the greatest care, the women visiting in them, and 
they unveil only in the houses of near relations or in- 
timate friends. 


On Easter Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, the master 
of a house receives and returns the visits of the whole of 
his acquaintance, an omission to do this being considered 
a great slight. The custom is very onerous for the 
European Consuls, who receive several hundred visits, 
many of which they return. Not only do the Christians 
pay their homage, but the principal Moslems of the town 
are aware of this custom, and, imagining that it resembles 
their holiday of Bairam, also make a point of visiting 
the Consuls. 

The state entrances and exits of Pashas of the rank 
of Mushir may also be included among the leading 
ceremonies in Damascus. Here may be seen still dis- 
tinct traces of the life of the descendants of the nomade 
tribes. Turkey has no roads, so to speak, but for 
travelling and camping caravan there is every con- 
venience mules, camels, tents, waterskins. Whole 
trains of camels, with cooking utensils, attend the move- 
ments of a grandee in a country where there are no 
hotels and locomotion is slow : the great man is escorted 
by both regulars and irregulars, the last a gang of most 
picturesque cut-throats, who deal even-handed justice in 
all their expeditions, and are so regular in their irre- 
gularities, that friends are no more free from their 
exactions than the deadliest foes. 

Prominent in such processions are the Akabar, or 
principal natives of Damascus, wearing their magnificent 
and ancient Oriental costumes, with snowy muslin 
turbans, cashmere girdles, diamond hilted daggers, and 
ample robes of the finest texture and most delicate hue. 
Then comes a hollow square of infantry, in the centre of 


which may be seen a nearly naked religious madman, 
looking like Orson in the pantomime, muttering gib- 
berish, with his eyes rolling, and his black matted hair 
hanging down over his shoulders. The legs, arms, and 
body of this man are brown, from exposure to the sun, 
and only a slight rag round his waist covers his naked- 
ness, this being an exceptional decency, for I have seen 
some of the class walking down the Durweesheey, in 
a state of absolute nudity. Medjnoon means mad, but 
the literal interpretation of the word is possessed of a 
jin, or genius, who may be either good or evil, and these 
people are greatly honoured, or, I should rather say, 
liberally tolerated in the cafes, and even in the private 
houses of the wealthy. The fact is, they are generally, 
in their youth, persons of weak intellect, who have got 
verses of the Koran by rote, and who, as they grow 
older, acquire more of cunning and hypocrisy than 
sanctity, and end in becoming a compound of the idiot 
and the impostor, the impostor generally predomi- 

A Christian marriage is another of the ceremonies 
which we may describe on this occasion. All day long, 
female figures are flitting about the house in their gala 
dresses, which are really splendid ; the middle classes in 
this country considering it necessary to possess at least 
one dress of the costly Aleppo gold and satin stuff, not 
from extravagance, but because they regard it as a safe 
investment, and a heritable portion of their movable 
property. Towards evening, the orange trees in the 
court-yard are hung with lamps, which have a very 
pretty effect ; and, at sunset, the host and his immediate 


male and female relatives sit down to an amply fur- 
nished Arab board. 

After pipes and coffee, a bright light is seen in the 
bride's room, and a procession of bridesmaids, carrying 
long wax candles, and mounted on their highest pattens, 
is seen to emerge from the apartment of the bride into 
the court-yard. They are followed by the bride herself, 
dressed in pink and gold stuff, and mounted on a 
pair of marriage pattens, still higher than those of her 
companions, and richly embossed with mother-of-pearl. 
Her eyes are shut, and her features motionless and 
expressionless. The candles she carries are of varie- 
gated colours, but good taste would spare the arabesques 
of henna and kohl with which her hands are tatooed. 
The procession moves three times slowly round the 
fountain, an old singing woman (moghannee) beating 
time with a kind of tambourine, and chanting verses 
of compliment on the beauty and happiness of the 
bride, the bridesmaids marking the end of every stanza 
with a shrill cry. The Moslem musicians then enter 
and sing songs, accompanied by violins and dulcimers, 
until a little after midnight, when they are interrupted 
by three loud knocks at the door, which announce 
the arrival of the father and brother of the bride- 
groom, with about thirty of their friends, each 
bearing a wax-light, so that the street is brilliantly 
illuminated. A pretence of resistance to their entrance 
is made by the people in the house, who thus express 
regret at the loss which the paternal house sustains by 
the departure of the daughter. A chorus is then 
struck up to welcome the new comers, whose mission 


is to take home the bride, who, during this time, has 
been, as it were, installed, or stuck into a corner of 
the saloon, with her back turned upon her companions, 
still covered with the red veil, and separated by a 
breast wall of cushions from the rest of the company. 
At last the time for departure arrives, the wall of 
cushions is broken down, and the bride is veiled in 
white, and conducted by all the company through the 
Christian quarter to the house of her father-in-law, 
there to prepare for the religious ceremony of marriage 
which takes place privately on the morrow, after 
which the bride remains secluded from society for eight 




SOME description of the two great suburbs of the 
Meidan and Salahieh is necessary to a complete view of 
Damascus. When the domes and minarets of Damascus, 
rising from the sea of foliage which surrounds them, 
first burst upon the traveller, as he descends the Jtull of 
Salahieh, he perceives a long suburb shooting from the 
south-eastern extremity of the town far into the Agar 
Damascenus. This is the Meidan, the Faubourg St. 
Antoine of Damascus, which, when troubles arise, pours 
its thousands of fanatical and sanguinary men into the 
city, to overawe rightful authority and plunder the 
more peaceably-disposed citizens within the gates. Up 
to the time of the Egyptian occupation this suburb 
maintained a sort of savage independence of the 
government. No Turkish Pasha, though his authority 
might be well established in the town itself, dared at 
any time to apprehend a roysterer of the Meidan. The 
only authority recognized by this unruly population 
was that of the Mesheikh-el-Harat, or Agas of the 
quarter, whom the government always took care to 
choose from the most influential of their chiefs. 


The historic notoriety of this quarter for its san- 
guinary fanaticism, and its hatred of Franks and 
Christians, may plead my excuse for giving to my 
impressions of it a more personal character than is 
usually permitted to the historian. 

Going through the " Straight Street," or the line of 
bazaars, I turned off to the left at the mosque of Sannan 
Pasha, who built it on the site where a large treasure 
of gold and silver coins had been found. Some of the 
windows of the mosque are curiously ornamented with 
encaustic tiles, resembling Delft ware ; and the minaret 
being entirely covered with green tiles, it looks at a dis- 
tance like a tower of bronze, and adds much to the 
picturesqueness of the city. 

Immediately above the mosque is the Sananeey bazaar, 
which is about thirty-five feet broad and the widest in 
Syria. It is built of stone, and divided by arches into 
sixteen compartments, but the shops being of a very 
inferior description, the coup d^ceil is more Oriental than 
beautiful. Emerging from this bazaar, two objects 
differing greatly in character meet the eye. On the 
left, is a mean-looking house, with projecting beams 
of wood. This is the Tyburn of Damascus the place 
at which malefactors are hanged, and where, in the 
times of the Omeia Caliphs, they used to be crucified. 
To the right is one of the handsomest mosques in the 
city, erected in the true Damascene style, the distin- 
guishing characteristic of which is, that excepting the 
stalactite or honeycomb ornament at the entrance, it has 
little or no sculpture. The heaviness of the walls, is, 
however, relieved by devices in inlaid work of black and 


yellowish marble, the elevation of the mosque somewhat 
resembling, in design, a Mosaic pavement. The Meidan 
is in some sort the capital of the Hauran and the 
Great Desert. I was struck with this fact the moment 
I entered it. Two very large cafes on either side of the 
way were filled with people who had not the least pre- 
tensions to the urbane air and fair complexion of the 
true Damascene. Bedouins, with their bright yellow 
silk handkerchiefs hanging round their dark brown 
faces, coarsely dressed, and shouting in their guttural 
dialect, were bargaining for the sale of their produce. 
"Weather-beaten Druses from the Hauran, armed to the 
teeth, were sipping their coffee, their uncurried, un- 
combed, and jaded horses being held by men who 
looked more like brigands than servants. 

As I advanced up the Meidan with my conductor, I 
perceived a number of skins on frames set up like tents, 
to protect from the sun the vendors of the pots, pans, 
hooks, knives, and other articles, used by the Bedouins. 
Strings of camels, loaded with grain from the Hauran, 
and hideous blue-lipped women, on asses, passed in 
succession, followed by a Bedouin lad who appeared to 
be visiting Damascus for the first time. 

In the cafes I saw men with blue hands some of 
the numerous dyers of the quarter cheapening indigo 
that had been recently imported. Both buyer and 
seller were 'extravagant in their gesticulations, and the 
Jew broker, assuming an aspect of solemn impartiality, at 
length concluded the negotiation by enclosing the blue 
hand within the brown one. In the houses the society 
differs from that of the town. Here may be seen one of 


the Agas of the quarter, in dress and manners like a rich 
peasant; the braggadocio, armed to the teeth; the Bedouin 
Sheikh, who has come from the desert with ostrich 
feathers for sale ; and some vagabond Turkish Dervish, 
who is not well received in the better houses of the 
interior of the town, and, therefore, ensconces himself in 
this fanatical quarter. As for the inhabitants themselves, 
they consider Damascus to be the first city of the world, 
and the Meidan, from its dry healthy air and the fanati- 
cism of the people, to be the choice quarter of the town. 

Besides Moslems, there are one thousand six hundred 
Greek Catholics in the Meidan. The Syrian Jacobites, 
who live in this quarter, consist only of four families. 
They were once a numerous community in Damascus, 
but most of the clergy and members, having acknow- 
ledged the supremacy of Eome, are now called Syrian 
Catholics. Provided this supremacy be acknowledged 
Eome shows herself complacently tolerant in all that 
concerns the doctrine and discipline of the Oriental 

While the Moslems of the Meidan are generally en- 
gaged in trade with the Arabs and the inhabitants of 
the Hauran, the Christians are for the most part masons, 
smiths, and brass-founders. 

The large suburb of Salahieh had nine thousand in- 
habitants, of whom the majority were Moslem Kurds, 
with a few Nosairies, Yezidis, and Christians. This 
suburb, which has been so repeatedly mentioned in the 
various histories of Damascus, both in this and pre- 
ceding centuries, is celebrated for the tombs of two 
Moslem saints, the fame of whose piety has spread 


over all the lands that adhered to the rite of Abou Bekr 
the one Mohiaddin, and the other Abd-el-Ghany-el- 
Nabolsy. The tomb of the former was for some time 
lost sight of and undistinguished, but a man is said to 
have foretold its re-discovery by a dark allusion to the 
entrance of the Sultan Selim into Syria. This rhym- 
ing prophecy ran as follows : 

" Meta dakhal es Sin fee Shin, 
Yazhar kobur Mohi-eddin." 

"When S. (Selim) enters into Sh. (Sham or Syria) 
The tomb of Mohi-eddin will be made visible," 

The other saint, Abd-el-Ghany, was more liberal in his 
views than many others, for he was the first to allow 
smoking and the playing of musical instruments, which, 
up to his time had been considered, strictly speaking, as 
"haram," unlawful; and the story goes that, to prove 
that music was lawful, he made a lute hanging on the 
wall to give out the sounds, " There is no God but God, 
and Mohammed is the Prophet of God." 

Salahieh hangs beautifully on the slope of Anti- 
Lebanon, where it joins the plain of Damascus ; and its 
villas, with luxuriant gardens planted with the orange 
and the apricot, are much sought after by the wealthier 
classes of Damascus for summer quarters, the situation 
being more dry, elevated, and cool than that of the town 
itself, and also more healthy at all seasons, on account of 
the sloping ground which immediately joins the bare 
desert mountain. 

The following are the other quarters of- Damascus out- 
side the walls : 

Mez-el-Cassab, at the gate of Selim, inhabited by 


brewers and tradespeople, and visited by peasantry from 
the farther parts of the Ayer Damacemis. 

Amara Burraneey, visited by Aleppines. 

Akaby, inhabited by a bold and turbulent local popu- 

Harat-el-Djedeed, inhabited by Turks and Kurds. 

Sook Serudjeey, the quarter in which the Persians de- 
scend; for there are constant caravans from Bagdad to 
Damascus, and also caravans which bring thither Tim- 
beck, Persian carpets, ornamented zinc water-pipes, and 
other Mesopotamian and Persian products, to say nothing 
of the large number of Persians that make the pilgrim- 
age to Mecca. 

The Sangiacdar is a quarter inhabited by people in 
comfortable circumstances. 

The Cannuat is a quarter inhabited by many of the 
wealthiest and most notable people of the town. 

Bab-es-Serudjee is inhabited by the middle class. 

The quarter of Suaka is visited by Mogrebbins and 
irregular cavalry. 

Cobi-Atkeh, is inhabited by the middle classes. 

Shuaka is inhabited by peasants. 

Shagoor-el-Burraneey is inhabited by a turbulent, 
fanatical population, nearly as troublesome as that of 
the Meidan and of Salahieh, which has an extremely 
disorderly Kurdish population. It was from these 
three quarters that the massacres of 1860 chiefly pro- 

Aleppo owes its origin to its castle; Damascus, 
evidently to the abundant and fertilizing streams over- 
flowing from Anti-Lebanon, which minister to the wants 


of a large population. The irrigation of the zone of 
orchards around the town is not more remarkable than 
the immense system of subterranean aqueducts within 
the city itself, which evidently dates from a most remote 

The seven streams, or rather arms, of the Pharphar 
and Abana, which irrigate Damascus and its environs, 
are the Barrada, Cannouat, Tora, Banias, Yeseed, Akrab, 
and Derary. All these reunite below the town, resume 
the name of Barrada, and fall into the Bahr-el-Merge, or 
"lake of the meadows," five hours distant from Damascus. 
In autumn, after the long heats of summer have parched 
the ground, and before the rains begin, the lake dis- 
appears. The traveller sees nothing but widely extended 
meadows, and the first notice of his arrival at the Bahr- 
el-Merge is the sinking of his horse up to the knees in 
slough covered with verdure; but after the rains set 
in the Bahr-el-Merge re-appears as a lake of vast extent. 

The Barrada, unlike the Koik of Aleppo, rarely over- 
flows its banks : after the heaviest rains it rises at most 
two or two and a-half feet. If the water, during a flood, 
be white, it is a sign that the rain is in the immediate 
environs of Damascus, which are chalky ; if red, a proof 
that the rain is in Upper Anti-Lebanon. 

The Cannouat arm of the Barrada enters the town by 
a magnificent ancient aqueduct of 360 arches ; but the 
most extraordinary circumstance connected with the sup- 
ply of water to Damascus is, that the river Banias, in- 
stead of continuing its onward course, is turned aside, 
and carried by a subterranean aqueduct right across the 
town, under the Cannouat arm, to supply a district called 

VOL. ii. 26 


the Shaghoor. The tradition of the town is, that Damas- 
cus was founded in the earliest ages by a king named 
Damashka, to whom glowing accounts were sent of the 
beauty of the situation, the abundance of water, and the 
number and richness of the fruit trees. The spies of 
the king, having brought him word that the Wezeer, 
who had been entrusted with a large sum for building 
the foundations of the city, must have embezzled it, as 
no houses were to be seen> the king himself went to 
judge of the matter, and, observing no sign of houses, 
he was very angry, and said, "Where is the town 
that is to be called after me." But when the Wezeer 
showed him the magnificent subterranean conduits, he 
exclaimed, "Well done, Wezeer ! thou hast spent my 
money to good purpose." 

The arm called Akraba receives most of the sinks of 
the town ; hence the humourous, but filthy doggrel : 

" Akraba la takribha 
Wahad yahra ha 
El tany yeshrubha ! '' 

To the abundance of water is attributable, not only the 
coolness of the houses in summer, but the enchanting 
luxuriance of vegetation in the environs. The majority 
of the trees in Damascus are apricot and walnut. 
Apricots not consumed when fresh are preserved in two 
ways, the stones are taken out and the apricots are 
rolled flat, so as to form a thin sweet paste, which is 
called mishmish kamar-ed-din, and is eaten only in 
Damascus ; if preserved like figs, they are called nikood, 
and sent to Egypt and Constantinople. The other fruits 
are apples, pears, plums, cherries, peaches, water and 


sugar melons, figs, grapes, almonds, raspberries, mul- 
berries, oranges, lemons, and pistachio nuts. All sorts 
of corn and grain are produced, but very little tobacco. 

The trees that die in the Ager Damascus are quite 
sufficient to supply firewood to the city ; for the bake- 
houses, reeds are used ; for baths, manure, which gives 
a dull red, but enduring heat. 

In summer the principal inhabitants make picnic 
parties to the environs, which last several days. In 
the forenoon they proceed to the town to attend to their 
business, and return to the suburban gardens in the 
afternoon. But the wealthy Damascenes are not so 
fond of field-sports as the Emirs of Lebanon and Anti- 
Lebanon. There are no hawks in the vicinity of 
Damascus, and there is little shooting except that of 
the partridge. Hares and gazelles are not eaten. Wild 
swine are killed in winter, and eaten by the Christians. 
There are no wild beasts in the Ager Damascus except 
the wolf, the wild cat, and the ounce. In Anti-Lebanon 
there are many panthers, some of large size, and of 
great ferocity, so that human lives are occasionally 

In former times a considerable population must have 
existed to the north of the present town. The 
Egyptians, in searching the castle for the old registers 
of the house-tax, found one of the reign of Sultan Selim, 
which was somewhat more than three centuries old, 
giving 1,200 houses to a quarter situate beyond St. 
Thomas' Gate, and now covered with gardens, in which 
the magnificent marble portal of a seraglio was found 
some years ago. 


The climate of Damascus may be considered moderate, 
for the palm of the south and the walnut of the north 
grow together. No winter passes without occasionally 
forming a cake of ice on the fountains; and in some 
winters snow lies on the ground for several days. The 
spring is delightful beyond description. "When I first 
arrived at Damascus the leaves had scarcely budded, 
and I felt disappointed, for my imagination could not 
fill up the blank in the landscape; but, as the season 
advanced, and clothed the gardens with verdure and 
foliage, I felt constrained to admit the surpassing beauty 
of the environs in spring. In summer the heat during 
the day is usually thirty degrees of Eeaumur in the 
shade, and twenty-five in the apartments with stone 
walls and fountains. The Damascenes suffer very little 
from the hot desert winds, for, before arriving at the city, 
they have to pass through and over many miles of thick 
vegetation ; on the other hand, the chalky rocks in the 
vicinity raise the temperature. In August, Septem- 
ber, and the first half of October, there is miasma and 
much fever. 

Landed property in the neighbourhood of the town 
generally produces six per cent., but some land is so 
heavily taxed by the Miri, or public treasure, that very 
little is derived from it. It is also worthy of remark, 
that, in disputes between the landlord and tenant, the 
committee of persons who are entrusted with these 
agricultural matters, and who have to make their in- 
quiries on the spot, are usually more inclined to favour 
the interest of the tenant than of the landlord. When 
a tenant has been three years settled on land, it is very 


difficult to get quit of him, as he draws up a long bill 
for walls, which are of mud, and easily damaged by 
heavy rain, for repairs, and even for manure^ The 
peasantry and gardeners immediately around the city of 
Damascus, are in fair circumstances, because appeal 
against adverse decisions is easy, and public opinion can 
be brought to bear in the case of injustice on the part of 
the agents of the government ; but in the more remote 
villages, these agents do as they like, and there is great 

Many of the wealthier inhabitants of Damascus are 
landlords in the Bekaa and Beled Baalbek as Coelo- 
Syria is now called. This tract of territory belongs to 
the Pashalic of Damascus, but is almost exclusively 
cultivated by the inhabitants of Mount Lebanon, and 
consequently by Eayas of the now united Pashalics of 
Sidon and Tripoli, the capital of which is Beyrout. In 
the earlier history of Syria, we find two different sorts 
of tenure of land. 

1st, "Miriye," that is, land conquered by Moslems, 
belonging to the Beit-el-Mal, or Public Treasury 
(literally property house), of which the Sultan was 
the steward for the Caliphate, real or supposed, for in 
later times, the Caliphate or " succession," was a mere 

2nd, " Kharadjiye," land that has been handed over 
in war, and has remained in possession of the original 
proprietor, in consequence of his having paid the 
Kharadj, or ransom (literally "the exit.") 

Now, as in the lands which, after the Arab Conquest, 
were handed over to Multezimeen or " copyholders,'' the 


exactions of the latter were often so excessive that the 
peasantry abandoned the villages and they fell into ruin, 
and the Mameluke Sultans sought to avert this evil by 
giving land in life-tenures on payment of a tithe 
(*' Asher.") On the death of a tenant, the lease was put 
up to auction, and the son had the right to take it out of 
the hands of the highest bidder, on engaging to pay the 
same rent. After the conquest of Syria by the Turks, 
Sultan Selim approved this system, but it was usual 
for the tenant, forty days before his death, if disease 
gave him any indication of his approaching end, to 
execute a deed by which the property was made over 
to his son, and when this deed was executed in due form 
at the Mehkemeh, it was not usually interfered with. 

In many cases, when the tenant wished to leave his 
property to his family, with the succession to the Sultan, 
the Holy Cities (Haramain-es-sherifain), literally "The 
Noble Sanctuaries, 5 ' or other religious and benevolent 
institutions, he made it a sort of freehold, by paying to 
the Sultan a sum of money, for which he received a 
Firman-el-Temlik, or patent of absolute possession. In 
this way the greater part of the lands of Coelo-Syria 
came into the hands of the Effendis of Damascus. As 
the oppressive and depopulating system of the Turks 
became consolidated and extended, the Firman-el-Temlik, 
in course of time, was no longer a protection against all 
sorts of exactions, which often took the form of a 
Sokhair, or " forced donation,'' either for the pilgrimage 
to Mecca, or for the army, which payments were con- 
solidated by the Egyptians into one grinding land-tax. 

In consequence of the political power which the Emirs 


of Lebanon attained to during the last two centuries, 
much landed property in Coelo-Syria, was let out at long 
leases to the Druse and Christian Mountaineers, by the 
Effendis of Damascus. According to the Shafei version 
of Moslem-Law, which prevails throughout all Syria, 
with the exception of Nablouse, a lease of this sort 
enables the tenant, after three years, to treat the land as 
his property, especially if it has been planted, or houses 
built upon it. The Effendis of Damascus therefore 
manage more easily with Druses and Christians, than 
with Moslem-tenants. There are now fewer inhabitants 
in the Bekaa and Beled Baalbeck, and scarcely any on 
the western slope of Anti-Lebanon, but these plains yield 
a revenue to many inhabitants of Mount Lebanon. Zahle 
and Djezin live in a great measure on their products ; 
and even those who do not directly cultivate them, 
profit indirectly by the bazaar-sales to the rural 
population who do. In the year 1842, after the 
restoration of Syria to the Sultan, much of this land was 
taken away from the Christian tenants, and farmed by 
the agents of the government, the freeholders in 
Damascus receiving moderate compensations. This led 
to loud complaints on the part of the inhabitants of the 
mountain, who could, in some cases, prove fifty, one 
hundred, and even one hundred and fifty years of 
tenancy. After long debates the government returned 
to the former system, and gave up the absurd idea of 
adding farming to its other avocations. 




FORMERLY there were extraordinary delusions as to the 
population of Aleppo, and it was supposed that this town, 
during its flourishing period, had more than three kerat, 
or three hundred thousand souls ; "but this was merely the 
supposition of Venetian and Dutch merchants, who com- 
pared it, in bird's-eye view, with the Venice or Amster- 
dam of the seventeenth century. Russell, in the middle 
of the last century, estimated the population at 230,000 
souls ; and M. Vincent Germain, a competent judge, 
assured me that in its most flourishing period the popu- 
lation of the town never exceeded 200,000 souls. 
Before the earthquake, M. Caussin de Perceval estimated 
the population at 150,000. 

A regular census was first introduced by the Egyptians, 
and, to the astonishment of everybody, it was seen that 
the population of the town did not exceed 70,000 souls. 
As 5,000 inhabitants lost their lives by the earthquake, 
and a greater number fled to Anatolia, Mesapotamia, 
and Kurdistan, in order to escape the Egyptian conscrip- 
tion, the population of the town at the period of the earth- 
quake (which event is the great epoch in the modern 
history of the town for the Aleppines) must have been 

ALEPPO. 401 

between eighty and ninety thousand. After the restora- 
tion of Syria to the Sultan all male persons that were 
taken away for the army returned, and the number 
of inhabitants then amounted to seventy-five thousand 
souls, who, in round numbers, may be divided, as 
follows : 

Moslems, 50,000 

Greek Catholics 6,000 

Haronites 5,000 

Jews 5,000 

Armenian Catholics 4,000 

Orthodox Armenians 2,000 

Orthodox Greeks 510 

Syrian Catholics 3,000 

The Europeans are too few for separate mention. 
They chiefly inhabit a suburb called " Kitab." Before 
the earthquake they all resided in the Medineh, or city, 
but on the occurrence of this dreadful event, they fled 
to the gardens in the environs, and erected temporary 
wooden houses in them, which being afterwards repaired, 
and some of them renewed in stone, Kitab became the 
Frank quarter. In Mr. Vincent Germain's plan of 
Aleppo, edited by M. Rousseau, this place appears as the 
Bostan-el-Kitab, or the Garden of the Book, so called 
from a villa and garden of a former Pasha of Aleppo, 
who, being fond of literature, collected a library here, 
to which he often retired, that he might cultivate 
literature without interruption. 

The principal edifice in Aleppo is the castle, which 
occupies the centre of the city, seated on a high oval 
hill. The entrance tower is one of the most magnifi- 
cent edifices of the East. It is of a square shape, 
beautifully inlaid with a dark coloured stone, and rises 


to a great height: inside we observe the symmetrical 
contortions of two snakes in colossal sculpture. But all 
this Saracenic grandeur leads to nothing. The interior 
of the castle presents the spectacle of a town in ruins, 
this state of things being caused partly by the earth- 
quake, partly by sieges, but most of all, by neglect. 
The entrance is, however, gorgeous, and the painter of 
architectural subjects cannot have a more picturesque 

In the town, the handsomest mosque is the Djami-el- 
Adelieh, in the Turkish style, and certainly a favourable 
specimen of a school which is far inferior to the Arabic 
versions of either Byzantine or Perso-Oriental. A square 
edifice of considerable height, breadth, and perfect sim- 
plicity, is surmounted by a large, boldly posed dome, the 
base of which touches the central parts of the four 
lateral walls; whilst, in order to represent to the eye 
the principle of the pyramid, a nicely adjusted minaret 
tapers high and lightly in the atmosphere. But the 
interior is tawdry. 

There are two public libraries in Aleppo, one of them 
attached to the Oomaneey mosque, the other to a college 
designated the Ahmedieh, but which is sometimes called 
the library of Tchelebi Effendi. In the latter establish- 
ment we find, in the first court, the tombs of the founder 
and his family. The inner court is surrounded by an 
arcade laid with mats, where, in favourable weather, 
the lessons were given : in winter they are given in the 
rooms adjoining. A marble fountain occupies the centre 
of the court. The door, or screen of the library, is a 
great curiosity to admirers of Arabesque wood work, 


every compartment of the grating differing in design 
from its neighbour. Around the walls of an ordinary 
sized room are set up substantial eases in which the 
books are placed, not upright, but flat upon each other, 
the titles being written in ink on the leaf edges, in 
large characters. In a corner of the room there is a 
pair of old fashioned English globes, bearing a label 
which intimates that they were sold at the sign of the 
Atlas and Hercules, in the Poultry, London. There is 
a very small attendance of readers, and Franks expe- 
rience much difficulty in getting a catalogue. 

Djedeide is altogether the best built quarter in Aleppo, 
and a rare thing in the East as well paved as a 
European town. I lived in the house of the brother of 
the dragoman of the British consul, a young man of 
great merit, who is considered the best Arabic and 
Turkish scholar among the Christians of Aleppo ; and 
I began my acquaintance with native society in the 
houses of his friends and relatives, who are the 
wealthiest Christians of the place. 

The house is entered from a lane, in which only one 
mule can pass. The interior is a quadrangle in which 
there is a fountain, which, unlike those in Damascus, 
does not constantly flow, but is filled once in the day 
and emptied at night. Little or no marble is to be 
seen, but the court-yard is well paved, the walls are 
built with smoothly cut stones, and the window borders 
are ingeniously ornamented with sculpture. As it was 
winter, and the climate of Aleppo is sharp and cool, 
the recess or alcove at the upper end of the court-yard, 
which forms the dining room, was cased with glass. 


The ckaa, or principal apartment on the first floor, 
has a divan, with cushions in velvet ; but our usual 
room was on the ground floor, which has a long chintz 
divan, and a carpet like a board. The principal object 
in this apartment is a glass case filled with Oriental 
plate, that is to say, silver, with salvers for sweet- 
meats, coffee cup-holders, machines for the burning 
of incense, and narghile heads. Everything has a 
solid, substantial, comfortable air. What a contrast to 
the booths which are denominated houses in Turkey 

My hostess was a tall, handsome woman of five-and- 
twenty, of an amiable disposition, who was treated by 
her husband and brother-in-law in the European manner. 
We had three male servants and a negress; but while 
the hostess toiled all day, the servants did little or 

At a sehra, or soiree, I asked for some particulars 
of the great earthquake of 1822, and each in his turn 
told his situation and feelings on that awful occasion. 
The master of the house said: "Djedeide suffered less 
from the earthquake than Bahsita, the Jew's quarter. 
I had gone to bed when the great shock came on. I 
ran out, and saw the water of the basin in the court- 
yard emptied dry. I then took all my children down to 
the catacombs below the house, and waited till morning. 
Some people thought this was exposing ourselves to 
greater danger; but a survey of the town after the 
earthquake showed that very few of the massive vaults 
were thrown down ; that the most dangerous houses are 
those of middling strength ; and that the best chance of 


escape is in the extremes of solid vaults or slight wooden 

A young man wearing a brown turban, said : " I 
was sleeping on the terrace, and I woke in the midst of 
a dreadful crash of falling walls. My brother had been 
out late, and I looked for the door of the staircase, in 
order to descend and see if he had returned. My 
brother came up and said, i Thank God, you are safe.' 
I said, 1 1 was going down stairs to look for you.' 
My brother rejoined, ' What stairs ? you are on a level 
with the street.' I looked round, and saw that the 
walls of the house had given way, the roof on which 
I was sleeping had descended en masse to the ground." 

A man in a fur cap* next spoke. He said : "It was 
a dreadful scene. The half of the town thought in 
good earnest that the day of judgment was arrived." 

Close by the house in which I lived is the Convent of 
the Armenians, and the residence of the bishop, to whom 
I paid a visit. He was a native of Tokat, in Asia Minor, 
and spoke Arabic with difficulty ; but some of the other 
priests, having been born in Aleppo, spoke Arabic better 
than Turkish. During the period that preceded the con- 
clusion of the capitulations between the Sublime Porte 
and the European Powers, and when the Greek church 
had not lost its unity by the schism which transferred so 
many of its members from the jurisdiction of Antioch to 
that of Eome, the Venetians in the Levant were generally 
buried in the Armenian cemeteries. Passing through 

* The dragomans of Aleppo, in former times, wore a high fur cap, 
resembling that of the Persians, and those Rayahs who enjoyed the 
same immunities by Imperial Berat, also wore this cap. 


the court-yard I saw several tomb-stones of deceased 
Venetians, one of a Consul who died, as the inscrip- 
tion states, in 1519, two years after the conquest of 
Syria by Sultan Selim. 

Nearly all the servants of the Franks in Aleppo are 
Armenians from Arabkir and Diarbecr. They speak 
three languages, and are trustworthy to this extent, 
that wholesale roguery and domestic theft are un- 
known among them; but every article purchased for 
their masters is loaded with a percentage, and a uniform 
price is agreed upon by them all, so that every one of 
their masters pays no more than his Frank neighbour, 
but all of them more than the market price. 

We now descended into the town and visited the ancient 
Seraglio, which I found, for the most part, in ruins. It 
must have been of vast extent, and its magnificence may 
be judged of by a gateway, still remaining, of exquisite 
workmanship, the arch being formed of blocks of polished 
white and black marble, joined in the undulating manner 
with great skill, and environed with arabesques. 

We went to pay our respects to the Mufti, but as he 
was not at home, we entered the divan of his deputy, or 
as he is called, Emin-el-Fetwa. He was a fat, middle- 
aged shereef, or descendant of the Prophet, and as such 
wore a green turban. He was seated in a low apartment, 
smoking his pipe, surrounded by ponderous folios on the 
law, some of them being the editions of Mehemet Ali's 
Boulak press. On my alluding to them he said, " If the 
Egyptians had cast fewer bullets, and printed more of 
these, it would have been better for us all." 

During our visit, several persons came in and laid 


before him their cases, of which he took a note, ap- 
pointing them to return in a few days. One of them, 
a woman, stated that she had heard nothing of her 
husband for three years, and that, being without the 
means of support, she wished to marry again. The 
Deputy asked for her witnesses, and, on these being 
called, they said they had heard her husband swear a 
triple divorce. The Deputy then said that the fetwa, or 
legal document on which the Cadi bases his decisions, 
should be made out ; and, on being asked what fee was 
required, answered "two piastres" (fourpence-halfpenny). 

My friend then took me to a very polite Effendi, 
whose father had been for many years Mufti of Aleppo 
and Cadi of Adrianople. In the course of a long con- 
versation on a variety of topics, I mentioned the circum- 
stance of Mr. Russell having stated, in his description of 
Aleppo, that a former Mufti had requested him, when 
he went home to England and wrote his book, not to 
judge of the doctrine of the Moslem religion by the 
practice of the Aleppines. He answered this remark by 
enumerating ail the corruptions of the age, as con- 
trasted with the purity of the early times of Islamism, 
and at length arrived at the conclusion that the end of 
the world was near. 

Public instruction was grossly neglected in Aleppo. As 
a matter of course, the Egyptian Nizam school has ceased 
to exist. What a contrast does the present state of 
Syria offer to the period when the Arabs were the 
successors of the Greeks in polite learning. I rarely saw 
any work in the hands of the natives, except such books 
as the Egyptian edition of the Arabian Night's Enter- 


tainments, and the writings of some popular poets. 
The first Arabic scholar in Aleppo was Sheikh Akeel, of 
the Grand Mosque, of whom I took lessons. His in- 
come as Professor at the Mosque being insufficient for 
his subsistence, he eked it out by doing a little in trade ; 
and had lately come from Mecca, and brought with him 
a stock of coral beads and porcelain bangles, worn by 
women of the poorer class at their ankles. 

The Christians were in the same darkness. The 
elementary works of the Arabic press of Malta on 
geography, history, etc., would do much good; but, 
however free from allusions to dogmatic theology, their 
circulation among the native Christians was discouraged, 
the clergy, being apprehensive that the reading of these 
books might be followed by the perusal of others of a less 
worldly nature. 

I made the acquaintance of the Mufti, Jabreh Effendi, 
whom I found a perfect gentleman and a man of the 
world: I recollect no individual in Syria who had so 
fascinating an address. His receiving-room was at the 
top of the house, which commanded a view of the en- 
virons of Aleppo. We often talked of religion. One 
day he said, 

" You believe Jesus to be the Son of God ? " 

Author. "Yes." 

Mufti. That is a mistake ; he was a Prophet sent by 
God, at a suitable time, and endowed with suitable 
qualifications. Our Lord Moses wielded the enchanter's 
rod: our Lord Jesus effected miraculous cures. When 
the Prophet was sent among the Arabs, the intellectual 
energy of the nation was bent on the language, and 


the Koran was accepted as a miracle of eloquence, when 
Arabic was in the zenith of richness and magnificence." 

A few days after this, the Mufti was in the Meb- 
kemeh, or court of justice, when a blind man, who was 
nonsuited, said, in a tone of great exasperation, "I can- 
not see you sitting on the bench, but, inshallah, I shall 
see you in hell." 

The Mufti, instead of resenting this contempt of court, 
said, with great composure, " Ah ! my good man, you 
will see many a greater man than myself there." 

The Mufti was so good as to introduce me to the Cadi, 
a Turk, from Constantinople. I found him in a re- 
ceiving-room of the usual size, fitted up with a divan, 
on which lay writing materials and rolls of paper : pipes 
and coffee were served, and the scene more resembled 
an ordinary visit than a court of justice. The higher 
class of suitors sat on the divan, and were served with 
coffee : some were presented with a chibouque, but 
the humbler suitors stood at the bottom of the room. 
The business was all transacted by means of an inter- 
preter, who translated the Arabic of the suitors into 
Turkish, and repeated to them the Cadi's Turkish 
answers in their own tongue. From the Cadi's know- 
ledge of High Turkish, I perceived that he could guess 
at all that was said, but was unable to express himself 
in Arabic. Oaths were occasionally administered; but 
it seemed to me that I could divine, from something in 
the manner of the contending parties, who was the 
honest, and who the dishonest suitor. 

It is not in Smyrna, Beyrout, Alexandria, and the 
other bastard Frank scalas, with their mongrel popula- 

VOL. ii. 27 


tions, that one can get behind the curtain and survey at 
leisure the machinery of Oriental government ; but rather 
in the large Pashalics of the interior. Now, although 
the city of Aleppo has not been lately the theatre of im- 
portant events, yet, from its high rank among the cities 
of Turkey in Asia, its political condition is not without 
interest to the European. 

On the restoration of Syria to the Sultan, Assad Pasha, 
experienced Vizier as he was, found an alliance with 
the Janissary party indispensable to the preservation of 
order. He therefore made use of the power of Abdallah 
Babolsi, now become Abdallah Bey, but kept him at a 
respectful distance, never allowing him to sit on the 
divan, giving him coffee, but never a chibouque. The 
power of Abdallah Bey was increased under Yedgihi 
Pasha, who treated him with much greater honour, 
for he not only sat on the divan, but he was pre- 
sented with a chibouque. There were only 1,500 
Nizam troops troops in the Pashalic at his beck, and 
these were not exactly in his pay, but under his pro- 
tection; he, as Mutsellim, having many ways of 
forwarding their interests. He had besides great in- 
fluence with the Sheikhs of the Bedouins on the desert 
frontier of the Pashalic ; and I may safely say that 
no man in Syria concentrated so much political power 
in his hands. Every matter was terminated by bribery, 
and Abdallah and the Kiahia of the Pasha halved the 
spoil. A great caravan that left Damascus for Bagdad 
was plundered. As the stolen goods could be taken to 
neither of these cities, they were publicly sold in the 
bazaars of Aleppo. Now, as not a mouse stirs in the 


city without the knowledge of the Mutsellim, this 
ugly transaction gave rise to the most sinister rumours. 

The real opponents of the Janissaries were the Ayan, or 
the local aristocracy of wealth ; for the aristocracy of 
birth had lost caste. The house of Tchelebi, formerly 
the first in Aleppo, and the munificent founders of the 
college and library I have described, had been dispersed ; 
and the Bey-el-Adlieh, although nominally the pro- 
prietor of the best quarters of Aleppo, was really in 
embarrassed circumstances. Nearly all the houses 
owned by Franks had been purchased from this 
family by racabet, a legal fiction, by which a sale 
assumes the appearance of a loan. 

There were then two principal families in Aleppo, 
whose members almost monopolised the seats of the 
Medjlis ; first, that of Shereef Bey Tatar Agasi, the 
grandson of the Ibrakim Pasha, who, about the period 
of the French revolution, held at one and the same time 
the four governments of Syria; and, secondly, that of 
Jabreh. The head of this party was the Mufti Mo- 
hammed-el-Jabreh, to whom the reader has been already 
introduced; but his character presents as great a 
contrast to that of Abdallah Bey, the Mutsellim, as 
any that can possibly be conceived. Assad Pasha, a 
quick reader of human character, said, after his first 
acquaintance with him, " I am not surprised that the 
Egyptians sent that man out of their way. I never 
saw a longer head, or a smoother tongue." In short, 
there was but one opinion of the brilliancy of the 
Mufti's talents. He was, however, unable to get the 
weather-side of the Mutsellim; for the rougher, bolder, 


and more unscrupulous means of the latter were as 
inconsistent with his position, as head of the ecclesias- 
tical lawyers, as they were repugnant to his habits of 
exquisite finesse: besides the Shereef faction to which 
he belonged, was, for the most part, composed of 
merchants and tradespeople, whose tendencies are more 
pacific than those of the Janissaries. 

The Cadi, on his arrival, sided with the Ayan, for 
his predecessor was so nullified by Assad Pasha, that 
his influence declined, and all the cases were decided, 
not at the Mehkemeh, but in the Council. The Cadi 
naturally tried to bring the business round to the 
Mahkemeh again; and having, by good management, 
been partly successful in this, he, although well dis- 
posed to the Ayan and the Shereefs, took up a neutral 
position in politics, which was after all most be- 
fitting his station. 

The spirit of party, if not so bloody as in Burckhardt's 
time, is fully as bitter. The envy and hatred of the 
Aleppine character is proverbial. Only two hundred 
miles separate Damascus from Aleppo, but these two 
places are as different as possible. Damascus is a 
sort of Syrian Vienna, where the beauty of the environs, 
and the happiness of material life, impart epicureanism 
to the habits, and good-nature to the character of the 
people. In Aleppo, on the contrary, the sterility of 
external nature seems to sharpen the wits of the in- 
habitants, and gives intensity to their self-esteem. 

Having heard much said of the Kahwet-el-Aga, or 
coffee-house of the Janissaries, in the suburb of Ban- 
koosa, I one day asked my obliging cicerone to take 


a stroll with me through, that quarter. Proceeding 
from Djedeide, we passed along the boulevard of the 
city, the fosse of which, about fifty paces wide, is 
quite dry, and covered with trees and shrubs. The 
boulevard itself was not a dead wall, but a picturesque 
mixture of ancient castellated and modern domestic 
architecture; and here and there the windows of an 
airy kiosk pierced through heavy battlements of the 
days of Tamerlane or Selim. 

Small as is the space that separates the city from 
the suburb, the contrast is as striking as it is interest- 
ing. I have already remarked the metropolitan air 
of the city itself; but the suburb Bankoosa is like 
a country Arab town fifty miles from a city. In the 
town there are tall houses, and long-arched bazaars, 
each of them devoted to a separate trade, where one 
may meet the well-dressed Effendi mounted on a good 
horse, and nodding right and left in recognition of 
his obscure acquaintances. 

Bankoosa, too, is full of movement of its own kind. 
The houses are rural, or suburban ; the bazaar is not 
arched, but consists of bare poles, scantily covered with 
mats to keep out the summer's sun and the winter's 
rain. The shops are not in classes, but the butcher and 
the vendor of drugs and perfumery are close neighbours, 
and the odour of rosewater is succeeded by the smell of 
offal. Here is the Bedouin, selling the produce of the 
ambulating dairies of the wastes in the large provi- 
sion markets with which the suburbs abound, and, ne- 
gociating the sale of the plunder of the lately robbed 
caravan. But look to the crown of the causeway. 


There goes the ma'ater, or blackguard. You are sure 
he is a Janissary. His apparel is shabby, but his 
pistols and hanger are good; he pays court to none 
of the Effendis, but is " hail, fellow, well met," with 
all the disorderly characters from Orly to Bab-el-Nasar. 

"Well, here we are at the far-famed Kahwet-el-Aga," 
said my friend. "Where?" quoth I, turning round to 
catch a sight of that celebrated political coffee-house. I 
followed with my eye the direction of his finger, and 
saw a building which had the air of the ruined out- 
house of a brewery, in front of which ten or twelve 
common-looking men were smoking narghiles. The 
place was in everything as unlike one of the cele- 
brated coffee-houses of the old Palais Eoyal as can well 
be imagined. 

By the permission of Mr. Werry I looked through the 
archives of the British Consulate during the the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries, the preservation of 
which is no doubt owing to the solidity with which 
houses are built in Aleppo, where fires are nearly un- 
known. The trade of the British factory appears to have 
been at its height during the Commonwealth, and in the 
time of Charles II., when there were upwards of fifty 
British houses established in this city. Aleppo being 
then the emporium of the Indian trade, had likewise 
a Venetian, Dutch, and French factory, which formed 
together a large European community in the midst of 
the fanatical Moslem population. But how different 
was their position from that of the Franks now-a-days. 
Then the Consul was sometimes imprisoned by the Pasha 
on the most trifling pretexts. Among themselves they 


lived in a very ceremonious manner, and their etiquette 
at entertainments was amusingly strict. One of the 
books I looked through "was a register of ceremonies, 
from which I make an extract. 

" At half-an-hour after three, the Consul's lady came 
in her chair through the great Cane to the Consul's 
house, attended by the Chouse and a Janissary. Mon- 
sieur Eeynaud, the Yice-Consul at Scanderoon, came a 
little way before the chair, and stopped at the foot of the 
stairs, where she was received by the Cancellier and 
and Dragomen, the Chouse, Janissaries, and four Shatters 
walking down before them ; and when she got out of her 
chair, the Cancellier advanced to hand her up stairs to 
the passage, where the Consul was to receive her, but 
was prevented by Monsieur Eeynaud, who pushed by 
him, and took her hand and led her upstairs and carried 
her to the Consul, who received her at the great door, 
and led her into the audience-room." 

" N.B. This action of Mr. Vice-Consul was esteemed 
a piece of rudeness, and ought to have been complained 
of, but as that was neglected at this time, it should not 
serve for custom upon another such-like occasion." 

The present Franks of Aleppo are more thoroughly 
Levantine than those of any other part of Turkey. In 
fact, those born in the country have much more of the 
Arab than of the European in their character. When 
the Aleppo trade failed, towards the end of the last 
century, all the English left the city ; but the French 
and Italian communities were rather colonies than fac- 
tories, for being in a climate which resembled that of their 
own country, they bought houses and gardens, carried on 


the local trade, and depended on the remaining resources 
of the place. Even now, when the Greek and Armenian 
ladies of Turkey proper are adopting the varnish of 
European society, the young Frank ladies of Aleppo re- 
tain the picturesque splendour of the old Syrian costume, 
and Arabic is their vernacular, sometimes their only lan- 
guage. Nothing can exceed the kindness and hospitality 
of these people, and some of the happiest hours of my exist- 
ence were passed in the domestic circles of Kitab, which 
is their quarter. The native Christians are not so well off 
as they were in the time of the Egyptians ; but they are 
exposed to no extortions, as during the ancien regime of 
Turkey. Having their separate quarter, the gates of 
which are locked an hour after sunset, they live in more 
security than the inhabitants of the town itself ; for many 
robberies took place within the walls during my stay. 
The Christian Rayahs are in all temporal matters subject 
to the Turkish jurisdiction ; but disputes among them- 
selves are generally settled by their superior clergy, 
without the intervention of the civil authority. The 
murders in the Christian quarter of Damascus had a 
small exemplar some years before in Aleppo, when 
several Christians were killed, and many girls violated. 
In both cases the punishment of the guilty was prompt 
and terrible. 

Several conversions to Islamism had taken place 
before my arrival. Turning Turk, as the old phrase 
goes, was, at that time, a much rarer occurrence than 
formerly. One cause for this was the decline of the 
political fortunes of the Ottoman Empire. The indepen- 
dence of Greece, the pressure of Eussia, and Mehemet 


All's system of promoting intelligent Christian Rayahs 
wherever he could find them, tended to discourage 
proselytism. After Mehemet Ali's expulsion, the pride 
of the Moslems, and the abasement of the Christian 
population, produced a slight re-action 3 and a few con- 
versions took place in Syria, chiefly in Aleppo. Now 
and then, one of those amphibious European adven- 
turers who roam through Turkey, ready at five minutes 
notice to undertake the drill of a battalion, the service 
of an hospital, or the construction of a battery, turns 
Turk for a year or two, and then leaves the country. 
But this does not count. During my stay in Aleppo, 
it was discovered by the Arnaouts that one of these 
worthies had embraced Islamism somewhere in Turkey 
in Europe, and, to save his life, he was obliged to 
remain in hiding until they left the city. The welcome 
these individuals receive from their new co-religionists 
is sometimes by no means flattering. One day a newly- 
converted Jew had the impudence to go into the Mosque 
of Zachariah, wearing the high turban of a Sheikh. 
One of the Ulema, on perceiving him, knocked it off his 
head, and told him never to show himself in that guise 
again. The last conversion was that of an Armenian 
Catholic, which took place in public at the Mehkemeh. 
When the renegade had made the attestation, one of 
the heads of the Catholics said aloud, to show that 
the conversion was insincere, " The Moslems have not 
been increased, and the Christians have not been dimi- 
nished in number " La zad el Musselmen wu la nak 
as el Nussara. 

Dr. Bowring, in his valuable report on the trade of 


this country, represents Aleppo as "by far the most 
important of all the interior Syrian depots," and 
observes that its local position is in many respects 
admirable for trade. I have been struck with the 
correctness of this remark, although not by all the 
reasons which weighed with the Doctor, such as the 
vicinity of the Euphrates (which would contribute 
to the prosperity of the town if only it were rendered 
navigable) which does not appear so much to justify 
the conclusion, as the superiority of the position of 
Aleppo "as a convenient place of centralization for the 
various caravans from the East." 

The sea-board of Western Asia (exclusive of Arabia), 
comprises first, the eastern coast of the Black Sea ; 
secondly, all the coasts of the great peninsula of Asia 
Minor ; and thirdly, the coast of Syria. The Caucasus 
locks up the first of these divisions. The great desert of 
Syria separates the southern part of the third division 
from the rest of Asia This, combined with the want of 
a good port south of Alexandretta, renders Smyrna, 
Aleppo, and Trebizond, the three entrepots of "Western 

The staple trade of the old British Factory was the 
importation of red cloth from England, and the re- 
exportation to England of the Indian manufactures, 
which arrived from Bagdad. From the later part of the 
last century, until about a dozen years ago, Smyrna had 
the monopoly of the European trade ; for Trebizond was 
unthought of, the Indo-Aleppine trade had gradually 
expired, and the British factory of this City, which had 
founded the fortunes of many of the wealthiest peerages 


of the United Kingdom, had disappeared altogether. The 
direct trade was revived in 1831. Aleppo, and, indeed 
Syria generally, instead of getting British manufactured 
goods from Leghorn, now receives them direct, several 
British houses being engaged in this trade. The 
caravans from the interior are yearly becoming more 
inclined to visit Aleppo, and less inclined to go to 
Smyrna; the reason being, that, in order to go to 
Smyrna, they must traverse the whole length of the 
peninsula of Asia Minor, and incur a great expense in 
transport. There is, besides, this inducement that, for 
several years back, so large an assortment of manu- 
factured goods has come to Aleppo, that the merchants 
from the interior can be there supplied with all they 
want. The rise of Aleppo and Trebizond has been the 
fall of the import trade of Smyrna. If Tarsus had 
a climate habitable for European merchants, it would not 
only take away a large portion of the Asia Minor export 
trade from Smyrna, but, by providing return cargoes (the 
desideratum of Syrian commerce), there can be no doubt 
that it would render Aleppo, instead of Trebizond, the 
entrepot of the trade in European manufactures destined 
for Persia ; for owing to the clear navigation, the easy 
access, and the favourable character of the prevailing 
winds, vessels from the "West arrive in the Bay of Alex- 
andretta before vessels from the same quarter, bound for 
Trebizond, have cleared the Archipelago and the Dar- 
danelles, to say nothing of the subsequent dangers of 
the Black Sea. 

After the expulsion of the Egyptians, the principal 
trade in Aleppo was the importation of British manu- 


factures. Cloth was the principal article in which Eng- 
land yielded the palm to her competitor, commerce 
having in this respect experienced an extraordinary 
revolution. As above stated, cloth used to be the 
staple article of the English trade for two centuries ; but 
although the general manufacturing capacities of Eng- 
land received an unparalleled extension, we were out- 
stripped by the French in this article, and nearly all the 
foreign cloth used came from Marseilles, from England 
little or none. 

The worst feature of the Aleppo trade, and that of 
Syria generally, was the want of exports. The silk of 
Antioch is all long reel ; the cotton is good only for 
candlewicks; the wools of the Taurus and the desert, 
although of good quality, are dirty and unwashed, and 
therefore not suited to the English market. Thus, 
although the Pashalic of Aleppo and the surrounding 
districts produce in abundance the raw materials of the 
staple manufactures of Great Britain, the want of skill 
and capital, caused by a want of security, hinder the 
development of native industry, and the English imports 
are paid for almost exclusively in specie and bullion. 
On the other hand, France and Italy, enabled by vicinity 
of position and consequent low freights to take off the 
coarse cotton and the unwashed wool of Syria, have lost 
ground in the import trade. The result of all this is, 
that the exchanges have been thrown into the greatest 
disorder, there is a perpetual drain of specie and bullion, 
and the value of money is yearly rising, in spite of all 
the efforts of government to keep it down. These 
efforts have no other result than to produce two rates, 


that published in the bazaars, which is called the sagh ; 
and the other, the actual currency, which is called shirek, 
or partnership. 

The massacres of 1860 in Damascus and Lebanon 
appear to have exercised an unfavorable effect on the 
trade of Aleppo. This later phase of the commerce of 
northern Syria is thus described by Mr. Skene in a Blue- 
book of 1862. 

"The European mercantile houses, which had until now 
principally supplied the market of Aleppo with manu- 
factured goods on credit, alarmed by the late disasters 
of Damascus and Mount Lebanon, and by the crisis 
created by the failure of several of the principal houses 
of Constantinople, have refused to send out their goods 
on credit, and thus a great portion of the European 
capital which hitherto circulated in the Aleppo market 
has been withdrawn. The import trade has consequently 
passed much more into the hands of the native merchants, 
and is now carried on, on a more normal, though perhaps 
also on a more limited footing, the Aleppo merchants 
trading on their own capital, and not on foreign capital, 
as had mostly been the case hitherto. Native Christians 
and Jews have settled in London, Manchester, Liverpool, 
and Marseilles, and thence forward goods to their part- 
ners in Aleppo ; and the latter, having a greater know- 
ledge of the country and language, and in general 
better means of disposing profitably of their goods, can 
cope with advantage with the European houses who 
import for the wholesale trade at Aleppo. 




In the Ottoman Empire we find the same distinction 
as that which exists in some countries of Europe, be- 
tween the old historic families and those that have been 
newly elevated, in consequence of services rendered to 
recent sovereigns. 

In Constantinople, and the large central cities of the 
Empire, we find the official nobility counting themselves 
considerable if it happen that the purely personal rank 
of Pasha or Bey has been a couple of generations in 
the family. But the old families of Bosnia and Albania 
count by centuries. When travellers say that there is 
no hereditary nobility in Turkey, they refer to the offi- 
cial primacy, the families of which are constantly coming 
up from the most obscure stations in society, and last a 
generation or two, after which they somehow, by in- 
dolence or prodigality, fall in the scale, or die out as a 
consequence of giving themselves up to the sensual in- 
dulgencies of the capital. The other families, on the con- 
trary, are kept up not only through local prejudice in 
their favour, but also by their considerable territorial 
possessions. Such is the case with families descended 
from the old Christian Croat and Albanian nobility. 


In Asia Minor we find the gradual extirpation of the 
old feudal element attended with much less resistance 
than in the more remote Kurdistan. In Syria the one 
principle has always warred with the other, and there 
are above twenty families who, up to the Egyptian in- 
vasion, were in the position of a feudal nobility, several 
of them being of great antiquity ; and although the 
unfeudalizing and centralizing process that has been 
going on all over the Ottoman Empire has in a great 
measure deprived them of political power over the 
population which they consider to be their rayahs or 
subjects, yet popular prejudice is so much in their 
favour, and local feudal jurisdiction (when there is no 
difference of religion) is so decidedly preferred to the 
direct rule of the Porte, that these families, although 
in a great measure ignored or systematically kept down 
by the Turkish government, still constitute what may 
be called a feudal nobility, though inferior in civili- 

V I ^- 

zation and pecuniary means to the European standard. 
In Egypt, the official, not the hereditary nobility, have 
always had the victory, for climatic reasons elsewhere 
adduced, the native shereefs being a puny and un- 
warlike set of civilians, while the rulers, whether 
Mameluke Beys or creatures of Mohammed Ali, have all 
belonged to bolder and more northern races. 

In surveying the efforts of the central government of 
the Ottoman Empire during the singular revolutions of 
the first half of the 19th century, we find them to have 
been directed against three classes of opponents. 

First. Against alien nationalities, such as the Greeks 
and Servians. 


Second. Against revolted officials, such as Mahommed 
Ali, Pasha of Egypt. 

Third. Against the revolted feudal nobility, such as 
those of Syria, Kurdistan, Bosnia, and Albania. 

In the contest with the Christians of Turkey in Europe, 
the policy of the Porte has failed, as far as Greece and 
the Principalities are concerned ; and in Egypt, the 
Porte has lost the full revenue of the most productive 
of all the provinces of the Empire. In the struggle 
with the revolted feudal nobility, the Porte has been 
upon the whole tenaciously persevering and successful; 
for the tug of war took place after the army had been 
organized in the European manner, and in years when 
the resources of the Empire were no longer drained to 
resist foreign aggression. 

The mode in which this revolution in Mount Lebanon 
arose and was suppressed, although peculiar, is yet sus- 
ceptible of so easy an elucidation, that a lover of the 
laconic might compress the history of that district, 
during the first half of the 19th century, into a few 

The crafty old Emir Beshir Shehab, born and bred 
a Moslem, perceived that he was most likely to abase 
his rival, the Druse Sheikh John Belat, by carrying 
the policy of divide et impera into the five Druse 
mokattas, or districts, and, at the same time, by a 
close understanding with all the Christians, particu- 
larly the descendants of those who had immigrated 
into the Druse districts by the permission of former 
Druse Sheikhs. 

On the Egyptian invasion, the Emir Beshir joined 


Mohammed Ali, who crushed the remainder of the 
Druse Sheikhs. At the same time the Emir Beshir 
raised his Christian creatures to power on the ruins 
of the Druse interest, and established a despotic 
authority at Dair-el-Kamar, the operation of which, 
by the superseding influence of the Christian Sheikhs 
in Kesruan (the aboriginal Christian district), had for 
its result the alienation of these Sheikhs and their 

This system, which was reciprocally advantageous to 
Mohammed Ali, who thus held Lebanon against the 
Sultan, and to the Emir Beshir, who wished the Druses 
kept down, was overthrown in 1840, on the appearance 
of the British and Austrian squadrons, the revolt of 
Kesruan being directed both against Mohammed Ali 
and his oppressive agent, Emir Beshir. 

The Druse chiefs returned from exile, and the feudal 
influence of the five great families was thus restored 
in 1841. 

The Christians, relying on their numbers, and seek- 
ing to make themselves independent of the Porte, as 
well as of its allies and supporters the Druses, have 
repeatedly compassed the extirpation of the latter ; but 
these efforts being anticipated and defeated by the 
greater secresy, better intelligence, and fearless bravery 
of the Druses, have always proved fatal to the 
Christians, and favourable to the divide et impera policy 
of the Porte. 

Like a geological revolution, in which there have 
been four or five layers disturbed by a convulsion, and 
partially mixed with each other, after all this shaking, 

VOL. ii. 28 



fusion, fermentation, and explosion, several distinguish- 
able layers, still exist, in the Christian Rajah and the 
Christian Sheikh of Kesrouan, the descendants of the im- 
migrant Christians remaining unmassacred in the Druse 
districts, in the Druse Sheikhs of the five Mokattas, and 
in the Porte, above all. Two layers appear to have 
been completely thrown aside in this convulsion the 
Emir Beshir's authority superincumbent on that of the 
Druse Sheikhs, and the Egyptian authority superin- 
cumbent on that of the Emir Beshir. The former has 
been replaced by a Christian agent entirely devoted to 
the Porte, and the latter by the simple and direct au- 
thority of the Porte's representative in Syria. 

The following is a table of the Hereditary Nobility of 
Mount Lebanon and all the adjacent districts. 









Abu'l Lema 


Lower Gharb 












Motuali (Shiite) 

Djebel Amel 

f Hussein Mezher ") 
Beha-ed-din j 


* A dignity between Sheikh and Emir, higher than the former, 
lower thaii the latter. 








Abu Neked 





Upper Gharb 

Abdel Malek 






Houri Salih 





The Heibereey Emirs of Koora have lost all their pro- 
perty, and have become peasants and woodcutters ; some 
of them are even beggars, but they ask assistance only 
from the rich. Even in their fall they preserve a certain 
pride. If the other peasants address them simply by 
the baptismal name, they will not answer ; but if the 
prefix " Emir," such as " Ya Emir Yusef, ya Emir 
Halil," be not forgotten, the answer is given, and they 
consort civilly with the humblest peasantry. 

The Hamady Motualis, chiefs of Djebel, had formerly 
rayahs, but their privileges were abolished. 

The other Sheikhs with rayahs are, or rather were : 

The Monakera in Beled Besharra, who are Motualis. 

The Til in Menin, near Damascus "\ 

The Mura'ab in Akkar 

The Raad in Zuneey ) Moslems. 

The Djerrar in Nablouse, and 

The Tokan in Safet 

Besides these are the Sheikhs of the Hauran, and 
other Sheikhs without rayahs scattered through various 
parts of Central Syria. 

The chief phenomenon in connection with the moun- 
tain races is no doubt the religion of the Druses, and on 


this subject the reader may with confidence be referred 
to the two classic sources of information on this subject, 
the great work of De Sacy, which thoroughly illustrates 
the origin and primary doctrines of this religion, and 
the "Mount Lebanon," of Colonel Churchill, who has had, 
during many years' residence, excellent opportunities of 
studying the subject, and who in his historical notices 
has reproduced the cream of the Emir Haidar's History. 
When I was in Syria, I on several occasions was disposed 
to go through the same process in relation to this curious 
chronicle, but was deterred by the apprehension that 
the general public would not relish the details, an 
erroneous opinion, as I have subsequently discovered. 
But the manners of the Druses merit a short notice, and 
my opportunities of studying them were considerable. 

The Druses are divided into two classes the Akkals 
and the Djahils. Akkal means wise, and Djahil means 
ignorant; that is to say, the former are the individuals 
initiated into the mysteries of the Druse religion, the 
latter are the uninitiated. This distinction is altogether 
irrespective of temporal rank or wealth; for every Druse, 
whether male or female, may pass from the uninitiated to 
the initiated state, on making certain declarations and 
renouncing the indulgences permitted to the Djahils, 
and it is not uncommon to see a drunken lying Djahil 
become all at once an abstemious and veracious Akkal. 
The Djahils, as might be expected, form the large 
majority of the nation. 

"No religious duties are incumbent on the Djahil, but 
he knows the leading doctrines of the religion, such as the 
transmigration of souls, etc. The secret signs of recog- 


nition are known to the Djahil as well as to the Akkal. 
He eats, drinks, dresses as he pleases ; but, although no 
religious duties are imperative on him, he fears and 
respects the customs of the Akkals. 

The Akkals are the depositories of the mysteries of the 
religion. They wear a round white untwisted turban, 
and are not allowed to dress in embroidered or fanciful 
apparel ; but, when in Damascus or Beyrout, they have 
permission to do so in order that they may not be dis- 
tinguished from the Moslems. Their sleeves must be 
closed and not ripped open. The common Akkals wear 
a striped abay, which is a loose cloak reaching to the 
knees. The Akkal neither smokes tobacco, nor drinks 
wine or spirits, nor does he eat with or share in the 
festivities of Djahils. Sheikh Iranian Djonbelat, when 
he became an Akkal, procured permission to continue 
to smoke tobacco ; but such dispensations are very rare. 
An Akkal never pronounces any obscene word, nor does 
he on any account swear, or tell a falsehood. If a dis- 
honest Akkal be pursued for a debt by another Druse, 
and asked for instance, " Do you owe this sum ?" he 
dare not tell a lie, but seeks some subterfuge and says, 
" Perhaps my opponent is wrong ; he is an honourable 
man, but his memory has deceived him." 

The Akkals are loath to accept of any entertainment or 
hospitality from a Turkish or Moslem governor. They 
look upon money received from the government as the 
produce of tyranny ; and if ever circumstances compel 
them to receive any, they immediately get it exchanged. 
This is a curious scruple to be entertained by a nation 
that inherits the philosophy of the Karmates and Batenis ; 


for the killing and the plunder of infidels, as Non-Druses 
are called, is not considered a crime. 

Profound respect and precedence are invariably ac- 
corded to the Akkals ; but if they do not firmly adhere 
to their vows they are excommunicated (mahroomeen), 
and become outcasts. 

The hour of meeting for religious purposes is on Friday 
evening, immediately after dusk. The temples are gene- 
rally structures without ornament, and invariably built 
in secluded situations. A wooden railing separates the 
female from the male Akkals. The proceedings com- 
mence with a conversation on politics. All news is com- 
municated with the strictest regard to truth. They 
signalise such and such an individual as an enemy of the 
Druse nation. Another individual, oppressed by the 
government, is recommended to protection and support. 
A third, being poor, and recommended by the Sheikh of 
the Akkals, is assisted by the collection of money. They 
then read extracts from the books of their religion, and 
sing their warlike hymn, which describes their coming 
from China,* the destruction of the infidels, and the con- 
quest of the world by the Druses. They then eat some 
food, such as figs, raisins, etc., at the expense of the 
endowment, or wakf^ of the haloue. After this the com- 
pany disperses, and only the highest Akkals remain to 
concert the measures to be taken in consequence of the 
news which has been communicated. Other news, of 
a still more private nature, may then be communicated 

* The Druses believe that there are many of their religion in China ; 
and some of the more fanatical Druses were highly displeased when they 
heard that Her Britannic Majesty had made war upon the brother of 
the Sun and the Moon. 


without reserve ; and, when profound secresy is desired, 
they appoint a committee of three. In every case 
certain heads of the six hereditary possessors of 
mokattas, even though Djahils, are parties to political 

That knowledge is power seems to be one of their 
fundamental axioms ; and the mechanism by which in- 
telligence is conveyed from the extremities to the heart 
of the body politic, and from the heart back to the 
extremities, has been most ingeniously contrived, and 
is simple and effectual in operation. The elder of a village 
haloue represents his district in the central spot of a 
mokatta. All the elders of the haloues of mokattas com- 
municate with the chief priest at the village of Bahleen ; 
then, again, the elder, after hearing the central news at 
Bahleen, returns and re-distributes them to the elders of 
villages ; after which the latter communicates what con- 
cerns the whole community to the Akkals of his village, 
and what is secret to a chosen few. This mechanism 
has, on many occasions, enabled the whole nation to 
act as one man. If secrets entrusted to the whole 
Druse nation be kept religiously by them, how much 
more the knowledge of movements pre-concerted only by 
a selected number ; for the greatest crime a Druse can 
commit is to reveal a national secret. Besides the 
bonds of blood and religion to say nothing of habits of 
secretiveness acquired from infancy there is also the 
fear of punishment, as a traitor would, on discovery, be 
hacked to pieces. 

"When a Druse, in a strange place, wishes to discover 
a co-religionist, he says, "Do the peasants in your 


country sow the seed of the hleledge?" (Hel el 
fallahoon yezraoon fee beladkom hab el hleledge ?) A 
stranger replies " No," but a Druse answers, " Sown 
in the hearts of the faithful.'' (Mezrua fee koloob el 
moumeneen). Another test is a knowledge of the five 
ministers, allegorically called boundaries (hodoud), 
whose names are Hamza, Ismael, Ebn Mohammed, 
Abou Abdallah Mohammed Ebn Wahab, Abou'lkhair 
Selama, and Abou'lhassan Ali. Such, from time 
immemorial, have been the signs of recognition among 
the Druses ; but I have every reason to believe, since 
the civil wars in Syria, and the dispersion of many of 
the books secreted in their temples and chapels (haloue), 
these signs have been changed for others now known 
only to themselves. 

There is no nation in the world which carries the 
principle of mutual assistance and co-operation so com- 
pletely into practice ; in fact, they are more like a large 
family, or clan, than a nation. The development of the 
Maronite power, under the auspices of the former Emir 
Beshir, has tended to knit the Druses together. In the last 
century, when their political supremacy was unquestioned 
and uncontested, the Djonbelat and Yezbeky factions 
were always at war with each other: and it was not 
until the appearance of third parties that the two factions 
laid aside their differences. Now they all act together, 
although the houses of Talhook and Abd-el-Malek are 
ostensibly in favour of the house of Shehab. If Druse 
families act apparently in a manner opposed to the 
general policy of the nation, it is with full under- 
standing with the others, and with a view to serve a 


particular purpose. The abandonment or betrayal of the 
interest of the nation is apparent, not real. The 
assumption of the forms of whatever religion may suit 
their temporal purpose being a principle admitted by 
the Nosairis and other sections of the Karmates, is 
evidently to be derived from a period anterior to the days 
of Hakem and Hamza. 

The pretension of the Druses to be considered as 
Moslems, when in Damascus, has, at different times, 
given rise to fetwas, or legal opinions of the Mufti, 
denying the right. On several occasions, in former times. 
Druses seized in Damascus, have, to save themselves, 
made the usual and requisite declaration of those who 
profess Islamism; but this has been followed by their 
immediate decapitation, in order that they might die in 
the faith of Mohammed, for the Moslems said, that had 
they lived, they would have relapsed into their original 

The union of politics and religion is more intimate in 
the system of the Druses than amongst any other people 
I know. A Druse who reveals a temporal secret be- 
lieves that he commits religious apostasy ; for, once 
introduce a system of inviolable secresy into religion, 
and it becomes very easy to transfer the principle to 
politics and to the other relations of life. This is quite 
consonant with the low cunning one meets with in the 
East, where the people are always applying the proverb 
" He that conceals his object, attains his end." 

Like the Jews of old, the Druses consider themselves a 
people set apart, and the chosen of God. Their physical 
resemblance to the Jews is too remarkable not to strike 


the traveller, that is to say their features, for in mus- 
cular vigour they are what the Jews may have been 
in past times, when, descending from their mountain 
fastnesses, they were the terror of the Gentiles. 

The Druse women are all taught to read and "write, 
which is a remarkable fact, when we consider the abase- 
ment and ignorance of both Moslem and Christian 
females in Syria. There can be very little doubt that 
incest was very prevalent among the Druses for many 
years, but it is said to have become less frequent. 
No stranger ever sees the face of a Druse female, 
as they appear to me to be more carefully veiled than 
even Moslem women. Marriages generally take place 
in very early youth. The Druses differ from other 
Eastern nations in this, that plurality of wives is for- 
bidden among them ; for even the Djahils, who are 
restricted by no bonds of religion, imitate the modera- 
tion of the Akkals in this respect. A poor Akkal, when 
he has two sons, gives up coitus. If he be rich, the 
coitus lapses after the birth of the fourth son. Births of 
females are not reckoned in this case. The jus mariti 
is not exercised during the nine months of pregnancy ; 
and, for two years after the birth of a child, and 
during the legitimate periods, only once a month. 
The Emir Said Tanooh, of Abay, who was the last of 
the Druse prophets, insisted on adherence to these re- 
gulations, for the sake of the health and strength of the 
children, and in order also that the property of each 
family should not be divided among too many heirs. 
The former of these facts may probably account for the 
immense physical superiority of the Druses over the 


Maronites ; nor is the latter regulation altogether un- 
suited to a nation which does not trade, but adheres to 
agriculture, for the trading Maronites may double their 
capital, but the agricultural Druses cannot increase the 
extent of their lands. 

A female Akkal is not allowed to marry a Djahil; 
and if she does so, she is excluded from the haloue, or 
temple, for a year or two. If a man divorce his wife, 
he cannot take her again, or even see her face. If both 
man and wife agree to a divorce, it takes place ; if not, 
there is a secret meeting held of the friends of the parties, 
called Jemya-el-Tahkik, or assembly of verification. If 
the fault be on the side of the male, he must, on separa- 
tion, give the wife the half of his property, and vice 
versa. One of the most singular customs of the Druses 
is, that if news, true or false, go abroad that a man has 
divorced his wife, the Cadi sends for him, and says, 
" The news of your divorce having gone abroad, it must 
take place ;" and if the man should say, " I have not 
divorced my wife," it is of no avail. 

If any female make a faux pas, her family is so 
disgraced that no other will intermarry with them, and 
they become utterly contemptible ; but the brother, the 
uncle, or if there be no nearer relation the cousin, by 
putting her to death, wipes out the disgrace, and the 
family is restored to its former position.* In a case like 
this the civil authority rarely or never interferes to 
punish the murderer. The best illustration I can give 
of this subject is an anecdote related to me by the 

* If the member of any Christian family in Mount Lebanon become 
renegade, the kindred become disgraced and isolated in like manner. 


deputy governor : " I was asleep in bed, when, in the 
middle of the night, I heard a rap at the door of my 
room. l Who's there ?' asked I. A voice answered 
1 Nasreddin.' I opened the door, and in came a Druse, 
bearing a sack on his shoulders. ' What brings you 
here at this untimely hour?' said I. 'My sister has 
had an intrigue, and I have killed her. There are her 
horn and other ornaments in the sack ; and, as I am 
afraid the governor will do something to me, I want 
your intercession.' 'Why, here are two horns in the 
sack,' said I. c I killed her mother too, for she knew 
of the intrigue.' 'There is no power but in the Al- 
mighty ! If your sister were impure, was that a reason 
for killing your mother ? But lie down and sleep.' In 
the morning I said to him, ' I suppose you were too 
uneasy to sleep.' ' By Allah ! my uncle (a usual 
phrase), so unhappy has dishonour made me, that for a 
year I have not slept soundly until last night.' I then 
went with him to the governor, and said, ' Will you 
give Nasreddin the handkerchief of amnesty ? ' The 
governor said to Nasreddin, 'Speak without fear.' 
Nasreddin recounted his story; and the governor said, 
' La bas ' (no harm), on which he kissed the governor's 
hand and went away." 

The Druses, in their most deadly feuds, hold the harem 
sacred and inviolable. "No instance was ever known of 
a Druse having maltreated a Christian woman. 

The Druses have no science or literature beyond 
dogmatic theology. Their youth learn reading and 
writing; the rest of their lives is devoted to politics, 
agriculture, and petty mountain warfare. They also 


read the Koran, in order to be acquainted with, and to 
practise, in case of need, the Moslem religion. They 
are certainly a most intelligent people in political 
matters. They have a much more skilful and plausible 
address than the Christians, but are not equal to them 
in drawing up documents. To make myself understood, 
the Druse would make the most persuasive advocate ; 
the Christian, the most expert attorney. 

The Druses have no taste for fine arts, and very little 
for useful manufactures. I never saw any drawing or 
painting done by a Druse. It is said that the ara- 
besques and mosaics in the palace of Mokhtara, the 
seat of the Djoubelat family, were equal to anything 
of the kind in Syria; but, like the decorations at 
Beledin, they were executed by artists from Damascus. 
Some of the tombs of the Sheikhs are very curiously 

The six governing families exercise a sort of feudal 
jurisdiction within their respective domains, and the 
great majority of disputes are decided by them without 
reference to a Cadi, who is seldom appealed to except 
in cases of litigation relative to succession to property 
and other important matters. In disputes between 
Christian and Christian, the Druse Cadi is never ap- 
pealed to, the superiors of convents being generally 
the judges on such occasions. The Druse Cadis pretend 
to be of the sect of Hanife, one of the four great 
authorities in Moslem jurisprudence, but in reality they 
adhere to the traditions of their own nation. Strange 
to say, they accept the testimony of a Christian against 
a Druse. In the Moslem districts a Christian is not 


allowed to bequeath more than a third of his property 
capriciously; but the Druses give every man perfect 
liberty to will away his property as he chooses. In 
the case of a Druse becoming a Christian, they sup- 
pose, by a legal fiction, that his father was not a Druse, 
but that his mother intrigued with a Christian. When 
a man is adjudged to pay a debt, and evades payment, 
he is not put in prison, but a couple of troopers are 
quartered upon him. These people live at "hack and 
manger," until either the debt be paid, or the pro- 
visions of the house consumed. After a short time a 
compromise generally takes place. 

The utmost confusion, as regards meum and tuum, 
resulted from the efforts of the old Emir Beshir to 
crush the power of the Druses, and their impatience to 
throw off his yoke led to revolts, and the suppression of 
these revolts was accompanied with extensive con- 
fiscations of property. The expulsion of the old Emir 
Beshir in 1840, and the forcible assumption of their 
lands by the Druses, produced the most complicated 
disputes, for the property had in some instances been 
sold to third parties. On the one side was the plea 
of purchase-money paid ; on the other, that of in- 
defeasible hereditary right. Up to the time of my 
departure from Syria, in the autumn of 1843, the 
Druses had succeeded in retaining most of the lands 
in dispute, but they have since had to refund a large 
sum as compensation money. 

Land yields a return of about 4 per cent, on the 
purchase-money, if it be not cultivated by the owner 
himself. The staple product is silk, and the traveller 


is filled with admiration on seeing every scrap of earth 
on the sides of the mountains formed into terraces of 
mulberry-trees, and irrigated. This careful cultivation 
contrasts strangely with the neglected roads to which 
but little attention is paid. There are few or no 
orange trees in Upper Lebanon, but they prosper at 
moderate elevations. There is also little or no corn 
grown in the Druse country ; what is not grown in the 
Bekaa, as Coela-Syria is called, is brought from Egypt. 
Eice, which next to bread is the principal article of 
of food, is nearly all brought from Damietta to Sidon, 
or Bey rout. 

There are very few roads in Mount Lebanon, except 
the improved one from Beyrout to Damascus. Those 
which are most carefully constructed are composed of a 
succession of steps up or down the side of the mountain ; 
but in many of the most frequented thoroughfares the 
horse finds his way as he best can. Indeed, the roads are 
purposely kept impracticable to impede the movements 
of troops. At present the only beasts of burthen are 
mules and asses. The Arab camel cannot travel in 
these mountains; and the Turcoman mountain camel, 
used in the north of Syria, is here unknown. Many 
Druses are employed in the carrying trade between 
Damascus and Beyrout, and losses, from want of 
honesty or punctuality on the part of these carriers, 
rarely or never occur. 

The law of hospitality is stringent throughout the 
East, but I am justified in saying that the Druses even 
exceed the Oriental standard in this respect. Accord- 
ing to the selfish and exclusive philosophy which the 


Druses inherited from the Karmates and Batenis, the 
protection, or assistance of, a stranger in distress is 
unlawful; but they are frequently hospitable from a 
principle of honour. Speaking from my own experience, 
I was received with the utmost hospitality. Their manner 
of living is thus : They eat three times a day. In the 
morning they take a little bread and cheese or grapes. At 
midday they dine ; the dishes most in vogue are kibby, or 
chopped meat, and corn formed into balls and fried, rice 
rolled in boiled vine-leaves, various sorts of salads, and 
omelettes with herbs. Several dishes are common to the 
Turkish and Druse tables, such as the never-failing 
pilaff and rice in vegetable marrow. The invariable ac- 
companiment of the pilaff is curdled milk. In the 
houses of the upper classes, soups, fowls, and mutton 
appear at table, the last being invariably stewed with 
vegetables. On festive occasions, or when strangers are 
to be entertained, game or a young lamb, roasted whole, 
are presented. When the master of the house wishes to 
confer an honour, he rises up and tears off a piece 
with his finger, and lays it upon the plate of the 
favoured individual. The mutton of Mount Lebanon 
is excellent, but beef is never eaten, and the Druses 
entertain the same aversion from pork as Jews and 
Moslems. The best fruits in the Druse country are 
figs and grapes. Apples and pears are small, and 
destitute of flavour. Some pears are so coarse in the 
grain that cutting off their skin is like cutting wood. 
Delicious water-melons, brought in boats from Jaffa, 
and some from Tripoli, form the great resource of 
thirsty souls in warm weather; but fever is the 


never-failing accompaniment of indulgence in melons 
in warm, low situations. 

Owing to the pure air of the mountains, and the 
moderate temperature in summer as well as in winter, 
the Druses are not only robust, but a long-lived race 
of people. Although snow crests the tops of Mount 
Lebanon in winter, the habitable regions are rarely 
visited by frost, in consequence of their immediate 
proximity to the Mediterranean ; and, during summer, 
the cool westerly breeze, which is felt lightly on the 
coast, blows freshly through the valleys of the upper 
regions, so as to make a difference of ten degrees 
Fahrenheit at moderate elevations. Notwithstanding 
the unsurpassed excellence of the climate, plague is by 
no means unfrequent, and is, in my opinion, solely 
attributable to the non-removal of accumulations of filth 
in the streets; for the houses of the people, though 
nourishing large colonies of fleas, are carefully swept 
and washed. The diseases most prevalent in the 
mountains are bilious and remittent fevers, diarrhoea, 
and, in those villages exposed to the exhalations of irri- 
gated mulberry groves, ague. 

When a male Druse dies, the corpse is exposed, dressed 
in the best clothes of the deceased, the face being un- 
covered, but women are put in a coffin. All tombs in the 
mountain are in the form of a chamber called Hashashe, 
and are generally near the high road. The lid of the 
coffin of a female is not at first nailed down ; the 
corpse of a male is put on the top of the coffin, and a 
large stone is placed before the door of the tomb, which 
is not locked for some days. The intention of this is, 

VOL. ii. 29 


that if the person be not dead, but in a trance, oppor- 
tunity may be afforded of crying aloud, and that the 
passer by may hear, and deliver the entranced. It is 
considered disgraceful to pay for the bearers of the coffin 
to the grave, as is done in other parts of Syria, and there 
is a struggle among the mourners as to who should bear 
the coffin. Druses and Christians lay aside their reciprocal 
hatred, and follow to the grave members of either nation. 
On the death of a great Akkal, the former Emir Beshir 
used to kiss the hand of the dead, and make a show of 
putting up his right hand to carry the corpse ; and when 
the weight of years passed upon him, he used to send one 
of his sons to perform this office in his stead. 

On the death of an Akkal, a meeting is held to judge 
of the merits and demerits of the deceased. Every cir- 
cumstance of his life is passed in review and searchingly 
criticised. If the verdict be favourable, they say " Allah 
yerhamho" (May God be merciful to him): if other- 
wise, they believe that he will receive no mercy. 

In the north of Syria, by far the most extraordinary 
race is that of the Nosairis and Ishmaelis, who are the 
descendants of the et Assassins of the middle ages." 
The doctrine of the legitimacy of the succession of Omar 
and Abou Beki to the Imamate, having been upheld by 
the Omeia Caliphs of Damascus and the Abbaside 
Caliphs of Bagdad, it followed as a matter of course that 
AH was the rallying cry of all denominations of mal- 
contents. Not content with regarding him as a Saint, 
they made him out to be an incarnation of the Deity, 
while Mahommed was considered only as a Prophet. 
Adopting also, the doctrine of the transmigration of 


souls, Abel and St. Peter were believed to be previous 
incarnations of the Divinity, while Adam was re- 
presented as a prophet contemporary with the former, 
and Jesus with the latter, of these incarnations. 

Ali is styled by the Nosairis, Ali-el-Ala, Emir-el-Nihlj 
(Ali the High, the Prince of the Eeligion). Belief in 
the transmigration of souls is supposed to be justified 
by the circumstance that live animals have been seen 
with scars on their bodies corresponding to the wounds 
of which certain individuals had died in these places. 

The Nosairis keep some Christian feasts, such as 
Christmas, the New Year, and the Epiphany ; but their 
greatest festivals are on the 4th and 17th of April. 
They are divided into four sects, called Kamareey, 
Shamseey, Klelseey, and Shimaleey, the sun, the moon, 
kleles, and the north ; but the rites of these sects are 
kept secret, and no instance was ever known of a No- 
sairi betraying the secrets of his religion. The little that 
is known of them is through stray books, which are so 
obscure and mystical that they can scarcely be under- 
stood, except by the initiated. When a young man 
grows up to the years of discretion, particular inquiry 
is made into the steadiness of his character. Ten per- 
sons must guarantee his trustworthiness, upon which a 
sheikh takes him to a retired part of the mountain for ten 
days, and initiates him, having first exacted the most 
solemn oaths of secresy. A Frenchman, educated in 
Syria, was once very near getting the double secret of 
the religion, or sirr-el-etmain, as it is called. He repre- 
sented himself to be the son of a Nosairi who had settled 
himself at Marseilles, and had actually begun his trials 


and examinations, when he accidentally overturned a 
lamp and spilled the oil. The sheikh considered the 
circumstance to be an unlucky omen, and broke off all 
communication with him. Torture and impalement have 
been repeatedly employed by the Turks to extract the 
secrets of the Nosairi religion from its votaries, but 
without success. 

Like the Druses, the Nbsairis pretend to be Moslems 
when they enter towns. I happened to be one day with 
the Cadi of Lattachia, a very learned Moslem, when three 
Nosairis, who were present, protested that they were also 
of the creed of Islam. The JSTosairis dress in white 
turbans, like the rural Moslems, but never enter the 
mosques as the Druses occasionally do. As they are not 
Ehl-el-Kitab, or people of the book that is to say 
possessors of a Bible or Koran, such as Jews, Christians, 
and Moslems any one may lawfully put them to death, 
according to Moslem law. 

They have an unbounded veneration for their priests 
or elders. The favourite tree of a sheikh is never cut 
down. A man will deny a debt, and perjure himself a 
hundred times ; but superstition has devised a test of 
sincerity, and no instance has been known of a man 
telling a falsehood, and at the same time laying his hand 
on the tomb of a sheikh. 

The Nosairis are very illiterate, and few of them can read 
or write. This ignorance, combined with their poverty 
and immorality, places them at the bottom of society in 
Syria. They commit murder on the slightest pretext ; 
but European merchants travelling in these mountains 
are generally respected. Like the Druses, they live in 


mountains easily defended, and are trained to secresy in 
religion; but in politics and in temporal matters the 
Nosairis betray each other disgracefully. The consequence 
is, that they are always at the mercy of the government, 
and suffer as grievous oppression as the inhabitants of 
the plains. When I was at Lattachia, the agents of the 
collector of that place went through the villages, 
exacting the double, and sometimes the treble, of the 
legitimate taxes. At a place called Cordahia, they took 
24,000 piastres from the villagers, and gave receipts for 
only 8,000, strange to say, the Nosairis coin piastres, 
which circulate among themselves, and bear the stamp 
" durub fee ain el croom" " struck at Ain-el-Croom." 

Generosity and hospitality are considered the greatest 
of practical virtues, and are supposed to neutralize all 
vices. Personal courage, which is so marked a charac- 
teristic of the Druses and Motualis, is wanting in the 
descendants of the treacherous and blood-thirsty Assas- 
sins. The ransom of blood is imperative among them, 
and, owing to the frequency of assassination, is so often 
demanded, that not the least extraordinary of their in- 
stitutions is a species of assurance company, by the 
agency of which the ransom is paid not by the assassin, 
but by the community of which he is a member, and to 
which he contributes. 

When a child is born it receives no name but Zain. 
After the lapse of a year a sheikh or elder looks into a 
book, and the first proper name on which his eye alights 
is chosen for the child. Circumcision is universally prac- 
tised. The institution of marriage is unknown. When 
a young man grows up, he buys a wife. If adultery 


takes place, the adulterer refunds to the husband the 
purchase-money of the wife ; but in many instances club- 
law prevails, and the strongest man has the handsomest 
wife. Instances have been known of a man, scant of 
cash, purchasing another man's wife with a cow, and, 
if dissatisfied, returning the wife, and insisting on 
getting back his cow again ! This occurs in the 
mountainous districts, but not in the plain. The 
women toil, the men are idle ; and on a journey the 
man is mounted, while the wife walks on foot. A man 
keeps as many wives as he can afford, for there is no 
legal limit. Strange to say, the inhabitants of Kadmous, 
or Mokatta, containing 3,000 souls, worship the womb ; 
and I am in possession of the formula of prayer used 
on this occasion, taken from the folds of the turban of a 
Kadmooseey Nosairi, who had been killed by an Arnaout. 

Seven days after the burial of a man, a large number 
of persons assemble, sheep are killed, and the poor are fed, 
for the benefit of the soul of the deceased. This is called 
the Mesuaa, or feast of Number Seven. The Nosairis 
never eat on any occasion a female, or maimed, animal. 

I do not find it convenient to enter on the subject 
of the new forms of government introduced into Syria, 
in common with the various provinces of Turkey. These 
forms have changed repeatedly with the course of 
political events, foreign pressure, financial embarrass- 
ment, internal dissatisfaction, and unforeseen political 
accidents, some favourable, some the reverse. It is 
not so with the religious beliefs, prejudices, manners, 
and customs of the native population, any change in 
which must be necessarily slow and gradual. 


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